Statement shirts, especially those adorned with political messages, are widely available in stores and are a common sight on the UC Berkeley campus. They are a form of self-expression with their own set of pros and cons.
Shirts with political messages proliferate for many reasons. There is easy access to them – they are abundant and often cheap. They are also hard to ignore and can even be fashionable. They are also a great way to spread messages and see people who you may agree with on certain issues.
With all these upsides, it is hard to imagine that there could be some downsides to statement shirts. Unfortunately, there are some cons to consider.
It is possible that a message can lose its meaning when becoming a trend. For example, as wearing feminist shirts becomes more popular, some may begin to purchase these pieces for their style, rather than for their message. In this sense, an important political message can become something that goes in and out of style, which is highly problematic. There is also the possibility of attracting unwanted attention from people who intensely disagree with the statements of the shirt you are wearing.
Statement shirts allow people to express themselves and political messages very clearly through garments and style. There is, however, the risk of desensitizing others to an important message. Hopefully, you can now consider the power of these statement shirts as you decide to wear one or as you see them across our campus.