Newspaper Article about fashion.

Yesterday,Meghan asked if I would write an article for the UVU newspaper, for which she is an editor. The paper is doing a segment on beauty and she wanted me to write something on the topic. I had to submit the article by earlier today and because I couldn't think of anything off the top of my head to say on the subject, I searched my noodle(brain) for something I may have already written on the topic. Although I feel as if I have written so much about so many topics, I couldn't really think of anything I had written specifically about beauty. I remembered something I wrote, probably about 4 or 5 years ago about people who put a lot of effort into keeping up with current clothing trends. The article I wrote is an expansion of what I wrote then. I think the article may come across as me feeling more passionately about the subject than I do. Had I not been asked to write on this topic it likely isn't something I would have written as it isn't necessarily something I feel that strongly about.(It isn't that I don't think it is an important topic, just that I personally do not think about it often.) I wouldn't say at all that I don't agree with what I wrote, but it also isn't something I feel that passionate about. However, having been in a position where I needed to write something on the subject, these were my thoughts(here is the article I wrote) ( I really love putting things in parenthesis)
(I guess what I am trying to say is that although this article I wrote might make it seem otherwise, I don't walk around judging people who worry about if their clothes are in style. If asked my opinion of it I would give a negative one, but if my opinion wasn't asked, I typically don't think about it one way or the other. Although in high school I did. And maybe for a few years just outside of high school.)

I think we have all heard someone, when looking back at old photos of themselves say something along the lines of : "What was i thinking? How could I have thought ____(article of clothing) was a good idea?"

What were they thinking? The same thing they are still thinking, "I am scared to appear different from my peers because I worry they will not accept me." Their idea of what is beautiful is based on what others around them see as beautiful.

I do not wish to say people do not genuinely like the clothes they wear, I believe they do, but this sincere liking is derived from what those around them like.

Those who hold most tightly to contemporary fashions, are those most likely to look back with disgust on their own fashions. Think of the ‘hip’ dressers from the 70’s, 80’s and 90’s.

I acknowledge that the clothes we wear make more than a superficial statement about who we are. A person CAN collect clues about another's inner life by observing the clothes their clothing choices. Our clothes signal to the world some elements of our personality and status. When a person wears clothes which are not 'in-style' it can represent a few different things.

One, they are trying but failing to fit in with their peers by dressing like them,

Two, they don't care about dressing like their peers, so are making no effort to.

Three, they want to stand out.

A person wearing clothes outside of contemporary styles can also be a symbol of that person’s desire for peer approval. By choosing to wear clothing which greatly stand out, this may symbolize an uncomfortableness with their natural selves which they are trying to overcome by standing out and being noticed. I think we have all seen people whose clothing seems to say: "Look at me world! I am unique! I am special! Love me!" Of course it could also mean they sincerely love the look and feel of their clothing despite how much they may stand out.

When a person is trying to fin in with their peers by dressing ‘in style’, yet failing, it often represent a certain degree of unawareness or 'not getting it' on the part of the dresser. It is, perhaps, this sense of obliviousness the out-of-style person has which may be responsible for some of the negative feelings their clothes evoke in others.

When a person is capable of, but chooses not to follow trends which set an arbitrary standard of beauty, it shows an admirable level of independence and confidence on their part which is something to be applauded not criticized. We may not even appreciate the clothes, per se, but the motivations behind wearing them is more admirable than that of someone who is unable to decide for themselves what is beautiful.

The point I am trying to make here is that people shouldn't worry so much about whether or not their clothes are 'in style', because the more they focus on it now, the more they will look back on their current clothing choices with regret. The more fitting in with current styles an article of clothing is today, the worse it will look tomorrow. When I look at old photos of myself, I never feel any sense of 'OMG! WHAT WAS I WEARING!" If anything I think, "I wish I still had that sweater, what happened to it anyway? Oh yeah, luke has it."

At the very least, I hope when people look at other's clothing choices they can acknowledge there is no objective goodness or badness about it. It is merely a symbolic expression of a handful attributes the wearer may have and little else. Constantly worrying if your, or others clothing, is in or out of style signifies an inability to think for oneself and the placing unnecessary importance on the approval of one’s peers.


Heather said...

If you were specifically thinking of a sweater that Luke would have, and it was dark purple, you should know that it got thrown away last month after being the most worn article of clothing (aside from his pants, because for a long time he only had one pair) in his wardrobe since the time I met him until the day we threw it out last month.

Heather said...

After talking about beauty/make-up on Meghan's facebook, I was thinking about how it probably came across that I think that artistic expression is the only legitimate reason for make-up, which is not the case. A lot of women wear make-up to enhance the features they like most in themselves- the color of their eyes, their cheekbones, whatever- much like someone who wears clothes that make their figure look nice.

I don't think that's a bad reason for wearing make-up (or following fasion trends, or wearing clothes that flatter a figure), I just meant for me personally, that reason does not outweigh the time and money spent on big corporations and perpetuating stereotypes.

Like you, it's not something I find myself spending a lot of time thinking about, but I realise I do have strong opinions, and might even say I'm passionate about it (which is weird, since it's not something I devote a lot of time to).

Chris Almond said...

I was talking about that sweater. On a recently posted facebook photo I was surprised to see him still wearing it. Based on the photo it doesn't surprise me to hear it had been worn so often over that time. It looked like it was just barely being held together by it's threads.
Was its being thrown out a conflict?

Heather said...

Just a lttle conflict, but not for the reason I think you'd expect: I wanted to keep it to make a baby pixie hat out of because I liked the color, but he wanted to throw it out because it was barely being held together and I think partly because Tess had fixed it up and put patches on it. So he was the one saying it was the time to get rid of it, and I was the one saying we should keep it and make it into something else. It was his (your) sweater, so he got the final say.

ricky said...

One time I heard a girl at school talking about a particular style of shirt she was wearing say: I'm so glad these are in style so I can wear them now, I love them.
I thought it was funny.