The Logic of Stupid Poor People
In Sociology professor Tressie McMillan Cottom’s essay “The Logic of Stupid Poor People”, she asserts that being presentable, especially for women and people of color, could help change the negative stereotype that always exists when these groups of people present themselves anywhere.
Tressie describes how her mother’s outfit was always flashy and expensive, that helped her anytime she went to a job interview, a hospital, a school or even to arbitrate for her friends. The classy appearance – “best Diana Ross “Mahogany” outfit: a camel colored cape with matching slacks and knee-high boots” – almost always had a way of giving Vivian, Tressie’s mum, a glamor that attracted respect and honor. Tressie picked up the habit from her mother and it continued to work for her. She mentions a job interview in which she was hired for a higher position just because the interviewer felt she was fit for a better position than what she was to be interviewed to have. The appearance stunt to make the suggestion that you are worth engaging could fail to work sometimes but her mother’s words, “life isn’t fair little girl” kept her going and presenting the best version of herself at all times in front of people.
The author emphasizes that the logic behind their ‘stupid’ expensive appearance does not only make them feel like they belong, but could also cut an edge into a better job, i…
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