There is something innate about judging a man in salmon-colored pants. I discovered this freshman year when I was visiting my friend at Penn State, where there is a bewildering population of frat bros with Brooks Brothers-sponsored closets. During that visit, I learned The Salmon Pants Game.
In The Game, you get one point for spotting a guy in salmon shorts, two points for salmon full-length pants, and double points if either are teal. Teal is apparently equally as preppy as salmon but twice as rare. (Does someone want to help me make an app for this? I think we could make millions.)
As simple as it sounds, The Game requires a sharp eye and a keen mind. Having played it for at least two and a half years now, I rock at it. If you have ever worn salmon pants on campus, I have seen you. I may have even taken a creeper picture of you and sent it to my friend at Penn State—we briefly considered a clause in the rules in which you get to double your points if you take a picture.
Then last semester, the rest of the world (aka the Internet) started freaking out about salmon pants and I realized the true meaning of being a hipster.
In April, someone created the Tumblr whiteboysinsalmonshorts and devised a new point system. A month later, because Columbia always needs to feel like a special flower, columbiaboysinsalmonshorts was born. Akin to the dog-shaming craze wherein owners take photos of their dogs with signs admitting the canine in question had peed on the rug or eaten a shoe, the salmon pants Tumblrs call out young men on their preppy proclivities. Except the puppies are cute and the guys are icons of New England-bred white male privilege BUT I’M NOT GOING THERE I PROMISE.
So now that salmon pants are a universal joke, I want to applaud all the men still wearing them. In order to relinquish one’s shame for the greater good, you run the risk of humiliation, but these guys are #doingitright. For instance, meet the two gentlemen below, whom columbiaboysinsalmonshorts called, respectively, “florescent watermelon” and “Abbey Road except shitty.”
I would like to think that, instead of genuinely enjoying this particular shade of pink and being oblivious to the stigma associated with their wardrobe choices, these two gentlemen thought to themselves, “You know, I might be mocked mercilessly on the internet for this, but that’s okay. My mom bought me these pants, so I’m going to wear them today, unashamed that I kind of look like a douchebag.”
These are the heroes of our days, my friends. It is important to realize, as all the be-salmon-ed guys on campus must, that criticism is inevitable no matter where you find yourself on the shame spectrum. That’s life. Some days you’ll be another two points in someone else’s game, but you can always be the champion of your own.
Have a great weekend and enjoy this tangentially related photo of Harry Styles hanging out with some nice Jewish family in a Penn State shirt: