Someone posted a link to this in my Facebook newsfeed this morning, and I watched it and was very moved. It’s a video of a homeless man being given a makeover.
When I watched it I realized how emotionally moving it is. But gosh, it’s depressing that it’s moving. I didn’t want to be the one curmudgeon on Facebook to point this out, but the whole point of the video is that we feel differently about the post-makeover man than the pre-makeover man (Buzzfeed says “They wanted to show Jim that a respectable guy was still underneath all that scruff.”). But that’s one of the biggest problems of homelessness to begin with, isn’t it? That our feelings of value toward the homeless (and actually, their feelings of value toward themselves) hinge so much on their appearance.
But let’s face it, in this world, appearances do matter. How we dress does matter, both to the way people look at us and the way we look at ourselves. So let’s recognize that, use it to the best of our abilities (to help ourselves get the “boost” that we need to fix things), but look forward to a day when we’re just as moved by the pre-makeover homeless as the clean-cut homeless who wear suits.