This I Believe

Katherine - Fort Mill, South Carolina
Entered on August 25, 2006
Age Group: Under 18
Themes: equality
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Everyone Should Own Jeans

Jeans are the timeless, great equalizers of America. Therefore, I believe in jeans.

My belief in jeans first came alive when I was about seven. I had just started riding horses, and I virtually lived at the barn. The people who surrounded me were each from different cultures and backgrounds. People ranged from Mrs. Catherine, an upper-middle class interior decorator, to my best friend, Celeste, who’s family always “just managed to get by.” These differences never came to my attention until I grew much older because when we were at the barn, we all wore jeans, and everyone was equal.

Imagine the president of the United States in jeans. Does he look very powerful, or does he look like an ordinary person? When I see someone wearing jeans, I get the idea that they are informal, laid-back, and relaxed. Even though everyone may not be identical, jeans can put people on the same level because they are an everyday equalizer.

Jeans represent equality but can also allow for originality. Everybody in the world could wear a pair of jeans, and everyone can still have their own style. Choosing between designer and Wal-Mart can be tricky, but the decision will define a person’s clothing personality. Someone’s jeans can be crazy or just plain and simple; it depends on the wearer. When jeans were first invented back in the mid-nineteenth century, they were nothing like they are now. Through the ages, different types of jeans have been popular. There have been bellbottoms, boot-cut, low rise, and so many more, but there has always been one common rule for jean wearers. Jeans make a statement about a person’s willingness to give up formality and be casual.

When I was younger and my parents chose my clothes, jeans were an everyday thing. Each morning I would put on a pair with a T-shirt and wouldn’t bother worrying about things like brand name clothes or if my hair looked cute. My days consisted of running around in the woods behind my house, and each day I would come home covered in mud. My clothes were constantly getting torn and ripped, but as long as I was comfortable, I was happy.

As I have gotten older, my wardrobe has grown extensively, and I no longer spend my days playing hide-and-seek in the backyard. Now, at fourteen, I worry about tripping and falling, getting toilet paper stuck to my shoe, and squirting ketchup all over my clothes, so wearing jeans is safe. When I slip on my jeans, I know I’m just one of the crowd, and I don’t stand out, exactly what I want to do at fourteen.

I often wonder what the future holds for jeans and me. Will I be forced to compromise with my job to be able to wear jeans? Am I going to forget the importance of equality and seeing people for who they are? Will I remember what it is like to crave to fit in, or will I want to stand out? I imagine that as my journey into adulthood begins, jeans will gain new meanings and significance. Whatever jeans symbolize for me in the future, I know I’ll continue to cherish the place they have in my life and what I believe they do for so many others by leveling the field and equalizing. Therefore, I believe in jeans.