Costume, anyone?

November 24, 2009

Jerry Seinfeld once poked fun at the villains in Batman, saying that their complicated disguise and surreal personalities made them the easiest to spot in a city, something criminals these days try their best to avoid. Its true, the amount of time they'd take to wear their complicated costumes could very easily be spent fool-proofing their schemes of mischief.
One might argue that the idea of creating a look which became an identity only happened in comics and movies...never real life. But I beg to differ.
When one looks at history, one finds very similar tendencies. For example,
Hitler never decided to change his look, by trying out a goatee or a french beard. He truly believed the awkward little moustache worked for him. It didn't make him look very tough, but it became his identity.
Abraham Lincoln wore a long top hat, which he popularized. People say he kept important documents in it, so it served a purpose apart from making him look crazy tall!
Marlyn Monroe was known for being blonde. She was also known for her affairs, but that's a different issue. Whatever those were, she was still awesome.
Even our very own Mahatma Gandhi chose to make an image for himself. Sure he had reasons behind it. But I'm sure after a while, he also stuck to the look because people started associating him with it. And they must have been extremely comfortable on hot, summer days, walking for peace.
Even today many figures who have gained popularity and importance try to stick to a certain look and appearance. Maybe not as elaborate and over-the-top as comic book characters, but sometimes, quite close....

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