The Necktie: Fashion Statement?


While recently taking Senior pictures for the class yearbook, I couldn’t help but to recall something an old middle school teacher once ranted about: neckties.  While the photographer suggested that I place my hands in my pockets with the thumbs resting outside (and dressed in button-down shirt and tie of course), I wondered how correct that teacher might have been.  You see: his opinion was that conventional neckties looked eerily similar to arrows… and where did these arrows point?  …They supposedly drew attention to genitals of course.  Similarly, in his mind the traditional ‘hands-in-pockets-with-thumbs-sticking-out’ pose accentuated the same thing.  Is this an inaccurate observation?

This assessment could very well go hand-in-hand with the view that neckties represent power.  Bosses and executives of large and powerful companies (i.e., those at the ‘top’ of power hierarchies) more often than not wear suits and ties.  Additionally, those individuals from all walks of life trying to get jobs, go to court hearings, and impress mates tend to dress in this same way – arguably because it helps them appear as though they’re highly conforming (see: “a team player”), approachable, confident, and intimidating(see: “powerful”).  Still, others argue that the necktie serves as a symbol of ‘slavery’ or willingness to be dominated – it even looks like a noose.

Masculinity and power may have been intertwined throughout history (cf. codpiece), so if you want to keep that job, you’d better keep that tie on.

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