Forbes magazine recently asked, “Is there any science behind why teens wear hoodies in the summer?”
You may not believe it, but I was a teenager myself. It’s true. I was.
I remember that time Georgie Washington, Tommy Jefferson, Benny Franklin and I were playing outside behind the school and Georgie kept trying to steal dollar coins from us to throw them across the river . Georgie lived across the river and her plan was to collect all the coins after school…
But I digress. The thing is, I was once a real teenager, so I can say unequivocally that there was absolutely no science behind everything we did. Foolishness, stupidity or madness, yes, but not science.
When I was in middle school, elephant bell bottoms were the thing to wear. If your platform shoes were showing, your bells weren’t bulky enough. We could have sewn another full pair of peg pants with all the fabric flowing around our calves, ankles, and toes.
No one ever suggested there was a science behind why we sweep floors just by walking down hallways. Most of the time, we heard adults muttering, “Children, if they had brains, they’d be dangerous.”
Today, as a bonafide senior, I often shake my head when I see teenagers strutting around in 90-degree weather with their hoods tied around their faces. I hear myself mumbling: “Children – if they had a brain …”
But I prefer childish logic to so-called everyday adult sense. So I read the Forbes article to find out if there was, in fact, any science involved in summer hoodies. Author Marshall Shepherd – father of a 15-year-old hoodie-wearer, climate scientist and well-known adult – says it does.
Soft outerwear essentially acts like the weighted blankets you wear, he wrote. The popularity of weighted blankets has increased during the coronavirus pandemic because the blanket’s deep pressure therapy elevates levels of the happiness hormone serotonin and the relaxation hormone melatonin while reducing cortisol, the hormone of stress.
Teenagers huddle in hoodies for emotional support, Shepherd claims.
I suspect teenagers mostly wear hoodies to look cool. That’s what we thought elephant bells and platform shoes did for us.
By the time I got to college, overalls became the cool thing to wear. “They’re so comfortable,” cooed the city kids. “I feel so close to nature. Is that why you country people wear them?
A farm sniff of my real overalls—splattered with tractor grease, cow snot, and grain dust—would have dispelled that idea. We wore them out of common sense. “Peel those things out,” Mom shouted. “You don’t stalk that filth around the house.”
In January we wore hoodies under our wetsuits to keep our ears from freezing in ice lobes and breaking. Forget serotonin, melatonin and cortisol. It was the possibility of becoming a cryogenic experience that bothered us.
At the time, Georgie, Tommy, Bennie and I tied hoods around our heads to stop science from happening.
Not only is Cole not a scientist, but he’s never been accused of being a fashion expert either. Educate him at [email protected], the Burton W. Cole page on Facebook or at www.burtonwcole.com.