Baja hoodies: What they really are, why most students wear them.

A student walks in during the cold months, wearing a slightly odd looking sweatshirt. It looks like it could be a poncho or a serape, but it has closed sides and sleeves. Many students are quick to judge, and label this student as a “stoner.” Little do they know, the student wearing the pullover just returned from a vacation down to Mexico and picked up a Mexican pullover hoodie, or more commonly known as a baja hoodie.

Baja hoodies, or “drug rugs,” as they’re commonly referred to, can be seen anywhere and everywhere. They are considered a large part of the hippie sub-culture and a part of the “cholo” lifestyle. Baja hoodies became popular in the United States when surfers bought them in Baja California, Mexico, and wore them during cool weather on the beach.

Kids are often judged by how they look, what music they listen to, and what they wear. To be a teenager in today’s society has to be one of the hardest and worst things to experience. Constantly being judged and doubted can wear on anyone.

Take someone who is not affiliated with drugs in any way and throw a baja hoodie on them. People will either ask them if they smoke or if they “have any.” Just for wearing one simple article of clothing, that person is labeled as a drug user. This is stereotyping at its worst.

Baja hoodies are referred to as “drug rugs” because they were originally made out of hemp. Nowadays, they are mostly made out of wool, cotton, acrylic, and polyester; they can even be made from materials like recycled t-shirts. They are durable and warm, making them a great clothing article to have for Michigan’s bipolar weather.

“I wear them because they’re comfy and warm,” sophomore Nick Mason said. “I get lots of nice comments on it because it’s different. I got it last Christmas, and just started wearing it regularly.”

Baja hoodies can be worn by anyone of any age. Adults, children, and elder folks can all express themselves through the different styles and colors of a baja hoodie. Wearing one doesn’t mean that you’re into drugs; it just means that you appreciate warmth, comfort, and a unique style.

“I wear mine because it’s really comfortable and warm, plus it’s my favorite color: blue,” senior Kayla Connely said. “It also has sentimental value to it because my friend gave it to me as a gift.”

Baja hoodies are a piece of clothing, no different than a normal sweatshirt other than its style. However, after putting one on, everyone starts labeling the wearer as a drug user.

For people to make this big of a stereotype for a sweatshirt, I have to wonder where our society is headed. We’re headed in a direction where it’s frowned upon to show some individuality, and it’s a sobering and slightly frightening thought. With that direction, it’ll be interesting to see what will be stereotyped next. We need to be less judgmental and more accepting.