Cerritos College
Cerritos College • Norwalk, Calif.

Talon Marks

Cerritos College • Norwalk, Calif.

Talon Marks

Cerritos College • Norwalk, Calif.

Talon Marks

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Appearance is important on and off the field

 When you buy a ticket, go to the game but stay for the fashion show.

Athletes set themselves apart from their uniformed teammates through body alterations and unique hairstyles.

It makes sense.  With all the Michael Jordan and Brett Favre protégés signing contracts for billion-dollar advertisement campaigns, athletes now compete for the winning score as well as the limelight.

Diamond-encrusted teeth and disheveled hair are sure to catch the paparazzi’s attention, on or off the court.

This situation, unfortunately, doesn’t apply to student athletes at the community college level, since the physical transformation they sometimes undergo during their 15 minutes of fame can hurt their reputation down the line.

The gifted few that make it to the big leagues, and are expected to reinvent their image well into their forties, don’t compare to the majority of student athletes that pay their own way through school, and life, by means of respectable part-time jobs.

Students who have earned a reputation for fancy moves on the field but don’t receive letters of intent must decide whether to chase the dream or join the rest of us average Joes in the workforce.

If the latter is the  case, maintaining an upstanding reputation throughout their time in school should be a priority.

The dyed locks grow out and the piercings can be removed, but that tattoo of the sophomore season jersey number with a fireball blazing in the background takes more than a dollop of hand soap to get out.

Long sleeves and collars are a quick fix, as long as a potential boss doesn’t check Facebook profiles for pictures of what applicants wear after hours.

And, in case anyone is wondering, crying “Discrimination lawsuit!” won’t help your cause.

The issue doesn’t come down to judging a book by its cover; instructors, employers, friends and mates will ultimately find the best candidate to fill the position, no matter what you wear to the interview.

The challenge is learning to play the sport of social norms.

Society has set the rules and it’s everyone’s job to follow them, for the sake of proving that we respect the system.

Athletes are familiar with regulations and good sportsmanship.  They should view employers and professors as referees when it comes to making a good impression.

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Rebeca Vega, Staff Writer
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Appearance is important on and off the field