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by Abigail Van Buren

Mom Awaits Unhappy Birthday Because of Daughter's Late Card

DEAR ABBY: With regard to the column you printed about the woman who wore a tongue stud while being interviewed for a job:

As a teacher, I talk to classrooms of students about how they dress and what their attire conveys to the people who see them.

I ask these students: "When you see someone dressed like a policeman, what do you think that person does? When you see someone dressed like a nurse or a doctor, what do you think that person does? If you saw someone walk into a bank with a stocking pulled over his head, what would you think? How about when you see someone wearing a business suit?" etc. Finally, I ask, "What are you trying to say to people when you dress?"

What we wear is a statement to the people around us. How we dress, tattoo, pierce, style our hair and present ourselves is an expression of who we are, and a message to the people we encounter. Do not be defensive if they react to the message you are sending. -- LEA IN MINNESOTA

DEAR LEA: You make your point very well.