DEAR MISS MANNERS: When leaving the house, am I under an obligation to “look good”?
I’ve had family tell me to cover my head during a bad hair day because “you can’t go out with your hair like that,” or to throw out clothing with minor flaws because “that’s the way you are supposed to do it.”
I find rather offensive the idea that I should wear a hat so that persons on the street don’t have to look at my “ugly hairdo,” and it is extremely wasteful to throw away clothing merely because a thread caught on something and it created a tiny hole. (My budget also won’t allow for this.)
Am I under an obligation to give strangers something nice to look at when I am out running errands, or am I allowed to stick to the standards of “my clothing is decent, and is daywear” and “I washed and brushed my hair”?
GENTLE READER: Standards have lowered considerably, particularly of late, and what is considered acceptable has changed dramatically. Doubts about pants-wearing on video calls has made suspicion rampant. The wearing of them in public is a bare minimum.
Miss Manners personally likes to do better, but she also agrees that as long as basic hygiene is being observed and certain body parts are covered, your family should back off. Subjective opinions about what constitutes an attractive hairdo are hurtful, and likely never to be satisfied, anyway.