As one of the dreaded East Coast transplants, I recently made my first trip back east after moving to California. I held out for 16 months before taking a double dip to DC and Florida to see family, friends, and assorted loved ones. I thought the trip would be about my impressions of the East Coast. Instead, it was about the East Coasters’ impressions of my appearance.
“You’re skinny,” they said approvingly. “Your hair is long,” they said somewhat less approvingly, “and what’s with the sideburns?” Considering that Los Angeles is supposed to be the world’s capital of obsession with appearance, the East Coasters were giving L.A. a run for its money.
I then remembered that, in the Los Angeles area, and especially, the closer one gets to the beach, many of us have broad freedom regarding our appearance. I have often noticed L.A.’s “live and let live” attitude as to people’s appearance, interests, and behavior. I have learned that the semi-homeless looking guy walking down the street is likely to step into his Bentley and zoom off to a meeting with a hip-hop mogul at his Malibu mansion.
So maybe the East Coasters are just envious of our freedom. If so, I have a feeling that, like the westerly wind that comes in off the Pacific, some of this freedom will eventually blow its way to the east.