Saturday, July 11, 2015

If The World Is Changing, Why Can't The Fashion World?

With the advent of gay marriage legalized throughout all of the United States, it's safe to say that the world is slowly evolving into a better place, emphasis on the word slowly. And while we enjoy these small victories, there's always something we still have to work on; opportunities that need to be taken to grow and improve certain areas of our life. 

For me, I have been in love with fashion and have always wanted to contribute to it and improve upon its impressive foundations. But while I've loved fashion for so long, fashion has not always loved me back. I speak, of course, on the much needed personality transplant of the fashion world.

I love clothes. I've loved them since I've been able to pick and choose what ones to buy with little input from my mother. They represented the small ways I could express myself when my world seemed lonely. Fashion helped to bring me out of my comfort zone a bit. But even though my love for fashion has not diminished in the slightest, my weight isn't exactly ideal when it comes to shopping. Please believe me when I say I'm not complaining. I'm happy with my weight as it is because it means that my body is healing with the medication I've been given for the last three years for my UC. Sure, I'm fat but personally, I'd rather be fat than dead.

One of the biggest issues I have with society is this unrealistic ideal we have for women, as if there is a prerequisite to being classified as beautiful. Women must be skinny, thin, lean, curvy. No matter what we do, it seems we always must strive towards perfection; not our version of perfection but someone else's. That by doing that, somehow we'll be happy because we'll be beautiful enough to be loved. And should anyone stray from this ideal, well then no one will want you. 

That's always been the driving force behind the marketing of retail. It's changed slightly nowadays with our slow enlightenment but we still have a ways to go. The marketing is what tells you what to like, how to wear it, what's old, what's new. I swear ten years ago if you told someone that eyebrows were the next big thing, they'd laugh in your face. Now look. And it's all because the cosmetics companies want to expand into fields that will make them money. It's not about us and whether or not we're pretty. It's about our money and how we choose to spend it. 

So as a personal rule, I am quite picky about what I spend my money. Mostly lipstick and mascara, the only two things, I think, women need. (Certainly, foundation for a bad skin day  helps but it can clog the pores and create more bad skin days so I put it on infrequently.) In college, there was this girl in my Portuguese class named Kate. She was a pretty girl but she always grabbed people's attention in class when she walked in because no matter the weather or what she wore that day, she'd always wear this bright lipstick. Some days it was red, other days it was pink but everyone noticed. I asked her about it once and she said that even on the days she felt like she had bad skin or bad hair, a nice shade lipstick would perk her right up. It was "the least she could do".

Just like Kate, everyone has their own sense of style. I have a lot of friends who dress in weird ways, and from the looks of them, most people wouldn't want to stop and get to know them because they do fit the normal "look". But they are some of the nicest, most open-minded. You cannot just judge things based on looks. That's superficial. You have to try them on, and when they don't fit, don't take it personally. Just move on to the next one and appreciate the experience.

~Renee Brown

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