The Great “Name 3 Songs” Debate


Addison Shepard

Band shirts are a staple of many teenagers’ wardrobes, but they can also be problematic.

Addison Shepard, Staff Writer

In high schools today, it’s fairly common to see a student walking by with a Pink Floyd t-shirt who has never listened to Pink Floyd in their life. If you ask them why, they just respond with “I thought it looked cool.” But wearing a shirt you don’t know the meaning of doesn’t just blindside real fans, it makes you appear ignorant.

I have had many instances where I have asked a person wearing the shirt of a band I liked about it, only to find out they had never heard them before. It’s embarrassing for both sides, but the problem with this goes deeper than just embarrassment.

Clothing is a form of self-expression, and stunting that would be wrong, right? It’s just an old band, what’s the big deal? Well, by just wearing a simple shirt, you could be standing for something you never would in other circumstances.

Music, especially the kind that gets put on these shirts, can make a statement. The Rolling Stones had a racist number 1 hit. The lead guitarist of Led Zeppelin was in a relationship with an underage girl. Choosing to separate art from artist is up to personal choice, but wearing their shirts without caring about their meaning, it adds to the massive problem that is the glorification of these artists and their sometimes morally repugnant behavior.

It’s the same thing as if you wore something in another language and in that language it says something really inappropriate.

— Sarina Luke

Students agreed that if they knew that the singers on their shirt had done things they didn’t agree with, they would not want to wear it anymore. “It’s the same thing as if you wore something in another language and in that language it says something really inappropriate,” Sophomore Sarina Luke says.

“I would just feel offended,” fellow sophomore Rachel McLaughlin said when asked how she would feel if someone wore a Taylor Swift shirt but had never heard her music.

And wearing their clothes does support these artists. No matter what your sphere of influence is, people are still going to recognize these band logos after seeing them so much, causing the public to know these figures without knowing their failings. There is nothing wrong with wearing band shirts, but there is a problem with wearing them and not educating yourself first. Any worry about representing ideas that conflict with yours will be gone, not to mention it paints you in a better light.

The clothes you wear aren’t just what covers your body, they are how you choose to present yourself to others. It’s a big part of how people make first impressions, and when you choose to wear a shirt without knowing what meaning it holds, it can come off as insensitive.