The New York Times Wants You To Come Out To Your Parents I Guess?

Sometimes The New York Times gets it wrong. There’s the occasional tone deaf op-ed or mishandling of racial politics, and then of course there was the time they suggested people make guacamole with peas. But the reason they’ve been perceived as this barometer of public truth for over 150 years is because most of the time they get it right. And sometimes they get it really right.

In a piece that came out last week entitled “How to Dress Happy This Year” the author, Hayley Phelan, suggests dressing cheerfully in order to set an intention of a positive mindset each day by adding splashes of color. Colors like red, orange, yellow, green, blue, indigo, and violet, in that order and all at once. Let’s take a look:

I’ve got to admit, that’s pretty happy! Curious if wearing something like this will have any consequences, like when I was a preteen and bought myself a pair of rainbow shoes, a pair of jeans with rainbow stripes down the sides, and a rainbow choker because I just thought they were pretty. Mostly I think people just talked in hushed whispers questioning whether or not I was happy.

If you’re wondering what else people could do besides incorporating rainbow coloring into your wardrobe to give off a strictly joyous vibe, Phelan’s got you.

Pushing a lifestyle, nice! This is the kind of recruiting I can get behind. And I don’t know about you, but this seems like exactly the kind of shirt you could wear while walking down the middle of a street while a group of like-minded people cheer you on.

What an exciting new phase in your life. Your parents are going to have so many questions! Be sure to give them time to adjust, and remember, wherever the conversation takes you, make sure you let them know that happiness is a choice we all make!

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Los Angeles based writer. Let's keep it clean out there!

Erin has written 208 articles for us.


  1. Fill the world with bright colors! All the brightness! All the colors!
    On an unrelated-though still happy-note: as I’m sure most of you have already heard, Chealsa Manning(I sincerely apologize if I misspelled her name)goes free this May! Thank you, Obama, you will be missed.

  2. Holy crap. When I first read this, I was sure those were clever satirical photos picked by someone on the top-notch AS design team. Not ACTUAL PHOTOS ACTUALLY POSTED in the NY Times fashion section. WTF!?!

    Not sure what’s going on with that fuzzy egg-yolk yellow coat. Or those pom-pom hats.

    But. My mother gave me two knit hats with pom-poms on them for Christmas. I am not exactly the “wear a pom-pom on my head” type and I worried maybe she was getting back at me for something I did as a teenager. Now maybe I understand. Maybe this is her way of saying that she just wants me to dress “happy.” Too bad I already performed a pom-pom-ectomy.

  3. Clicking through to the article, I see that this is less a guide to dressing ‘happy’ and more a guide to dressing like the 1970’s cast of Sesame Street in their off hours. Which I’m here for, of course. That first coat is 100% Big Bird!

  4. Ha ha ha. I never had the chance to say anything to my dad. And my mom would just see such clothes as another thing for her to criticize me about; I tried telling her once that I was, and she said that she just thought I wanted attention and to feel special.

    Still, I like that rainbow sweater! It’s cute.

  5. First they came for our skinny jeans and flannel. Then they came for our Alternative Lifestyle Haircuts. Now this? NO. No, fashion hipsters, you cannot have our rainbows too!

  6. all about this, and, i need that good life sweater immediately.

    in elementary school, i consistently wore the same rainbow t-shirt…how my parents didn’t know? the mind reels!

  7. I mean, gay also means happy, yeah? I bet the title was actually “How to Dress Gay this Year” and some pesky editor decided that didn’t quite have the right punch so they swapped in a synonym.

  8. That article was just about everything I hated about the late 90’s… stupidly coloured “monster fur”, smileys and — I’m sorry, I know it’s an unpopular opinion — rainbows.

    It’s only missing those rip-away sweatpants with buttons up the side, butterfly clips and platform boots so heavy you can’t lift your feet.

    • The blah ROYGBIV rainbow of the 90’s was indeed uggo.
      Rainbows should feel like spectrum not a poorly saturated after thought.

  9. Spread the mental illness! Obey the Talmudic instructions! Lay down with dogs and rise up with fleas!

    I’m on it.

  10. I hope this isn’t part of the Christian right trying to “take the rainbow back” which is literally a thing that delusional science denier and Ark Park creationist, Ken Ham wants to do.

    But on a sunnier note, I had a rainbow belt when I was about 15 and proudly wore it with my otherwise boring school uniform to my quite conservative high school. It only took me almost another 15 years to come out of the closet.

  11. “Fact: It’s hard to take yourself too seriously when there is a pompom dancing on your head. These caps, available in a variety of warm knits, are an irrepressible way to top off any look.”
    Challenge accepted! I am never abandoning my overthinking cultural criticisms, no matter how irrepressible my look.

  12. Hi Erin, could you possibly edit your language that the NYT was “tone deaf”? It’s an ableist expression.

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