Fuck Fashion

NS October 15th, 2009

fuck-the-rain

I don’t care about fashion. Never have, never will. To be honest, I’ve always found the idea of caring about labels and the latest styles a little alien. I just don’t see the attraction. Spending all that time researching what’s new, spending all of that money obtaining it, only for it to be replaced by some other trend mere months later…it just seems pointless and endless and strange.

The throwaway culture it creates and the part fashion plays in fueling rampant and thoughtless consumerism is only one of my concerns, though. I’m also concerned with not only how the fashion industry portrays models and sets up an impossible beauty standards for ‘regular’ women, but also with the entire idea behind clothing and how we look at it as being a way to express and define ourselves.

Fashion was created by (for the most part) rich, white men who had very specific, rigid ideas of what women should look and act like. Since the first pencil was put to sketch pad to create a drawing for the Autumn/Winter collection, we have been adhering to what a select group of people very preoccupied with aesthetics and symmetry think is beautiful and inspiring and, ergo, fashionable. The women who will wear the clothes are of little concern or consequence. Our needs or desires pale in comparison with these men’s artistic vision. We are but grease marks in shades of charcoal on the drafting board to them. What do we know?

Let’s think about the history of and impetus behind fashion a little more. What do these designers base their ideas on, where do they get their inspiration and what or who told them that they needed to use very thin, boyish bodies for these designs to ‘work’? If it’s mainly men doing the designing, how do they know what will fit and flatter women, and be practical for their varying shapes and stages of life? The short answer is that they don’t. The long answer involves a favourite word ’round these parts, one that begins with a big, fat capital P. Any guesses?

But none of that really matters because what’s done is done. We can’t go back and change how men have viewed and controlled women, felt entitled to their bodies, since the beginning of time. Hell, if we can’t even convince many women that they’re not living in a post-feminist world where they are fully respected and on equal footing with men in the areas that matter, then what hope do we have of changing what the rich, white dudes think?

They have a vested interest in keeping us tightly bound up, corseted to our eyebrows and tottering on the highest of heels, even if it causes us discomfort and ill health. They have a vested interest in keeping us smooth, hairless, perfectly made-up and shiny, even if it wastes much of our time and money. They have a vested interest in keeping us slim and pretty and willing to do anything to make or keep ourselves that way. They have a vested interest in our self-hatred and our self-consciousness because it keeps us busy and our minds off of our 1 in 6 chance of being sexually assaulted, or our 1 in 3 chance of being cut open in childbirth in the U.S. (1 in 4 chance in the UK), or our 83 pence to every man’s pound earned.

Vered at MomGrind wrote a post yesterday in which she expressed disbelief and disgust at Karl Lagerfeld’s comment that women who complain about thin models are “fat mummies” who “sit in front of the television eating crisps.” She encouraged us to not put any stock in what he says and shrug it off as the ridiculous and pitiful statement it is. And she’s right, of course, we shouldn’t give two shits what a wealthy, septuagenarian man thinks of us, or what we wear or say or do. Because who cares, right? I certainly don’t.

But a lot of women do. A lot of women follow fashion like a sport and think shopping is next to godliness and that these designers are the fucking Messiah. So they will indeed care what he says.

Vered also linked to a post I wrote on the Roman Polanski rape debacle and apty tied that into how our society seems so prepared to forgive or dismiss  rich, white men’s eccentricities and even their crimes because we consider their ‘genius’ more valuable than the people they damage. I left this comment on her post:

The fashion world and Hollywood need to be tied together with heavy stones and thrown into the ocean, as far as I’m concerned. I really don’t understand why so many women make themselves slaves to what these industries say we should do. A dress or a magazine or a movie aren’t motivation enough for me to destroy my self-worth.

Fashion is a large part of what I find so vacuous and intellectually bankrupt about our consumerist culture. Who the shit cares if a handbag was made by orphans in Bangladesh, right? So long as it’s got some rich white dude’s name stitched on the front in 24 karat gold, everyone can see that you’ve got money and need someone you’ve never met to tell you what to wear. Apparently this is a sign of status and progress. Ha-hardy-har! The patriarchy has successfully deflected our attention away from all of the violence and discrimination against women with shiny objects and busied us with eating disorders and clawing one another’s eyes out in our quest to epitomize their fantasies. Well done, rich white dudes, I’ve got to hand it to you, you’ve done a stellar job.

I think I’ll go be sick now, but not because I want to fit into that little black dress. Most likely I’ve just eaten too many crisps.

Because you know what, Karl Lagerfeld? I am what you would almost certainly call a ‘fat mummy’ and I eat crisps, happily, whenever the hell I want. I don’t stick my fingers down my throat afterwards so I can fit into whatever the hell bizarro-world clothes creation you’ve come up with lately, and you know that real women with a healthy dose of self-confidence don’t either. We can shrug off what you say with a laugh and a slap of our blubberous thighs and go back to our meaningful lives, ones with relationships to nourish and children to raise and jobs to perform and memories to create. You can’t get to us and it infuriates you, no doubt. We are a segment of the market you haven’t been able to crack, though lord knows you’ve tried. We aren’t many in number, granted. You’ve already gotten to most of our sisters, filled their heads with your ideas of beauty and perfection and cost them the ability to enjoy life and their bodies and the clothes on their backs on their own terms, for their own purposes and for their own bodies.

So it’s not for me, but for them, when I say Fuck you, fashion industry. Fuck you and the clothes horse you rode in on. Fuck your size zero models and use of Photoshop to make women’s hips appear slimmer than their heads. Fuck you for firing models for gaining five pounds and no longer fitting the skeletal mold you have created. But most of all, fuck you for getting inside the heads and hearts of millions of women the world over, infecting them with your “vision.”

I don’t need clothes or hats or shoes to express myself, or give me confidence or define who I am. If someone wants to pigeonhole me based on my attire that is their problem, not mine. All I need to be me, to be a woman, are the courage of my convictions and the words to tell you where to go when you try to stuff me into your pretty little boxes in the name of a deluded form of masochism called Fashion.

I don’t wear pencil skirts, I hold pens. I don’t need the pictures in Vogue, I have words; words sharper than the hipbones jutting out of the girls parading down the catwalk wearing the latest article of clothing from your  self-hatred-breeding machine.

I don’t need fashion, I have a voice. And I’m not afraid to use it.

Image found at nuacco.com

25 Responses to “Fuck Fashion”

  1. [...] This post was mentioned on Twitter by MomGrind , Amity Reed. Amity Reed said: New blog post: Fuck Fashion http://tinyurl.com/yzgqf4o [...]

  2. An extremely powerful post.

    I used to love fashion and am still searching for ways to coincide my love of aesthetics with my desire to be free and comfortable.

  3. Arwyn says:

    1) Hells yes.

    2) I’m a little uncomfortable with this bit: “words sharper than the hipbones jutting out of the girls parading down the catwalk” in that it seems to continue the policing of women’s bodies. It’s all too easy to slide from “me and my fat ass are right fucking fine the way we are” to sizeism that belittles the thin (and goddess knows I’ve leapt right over that line in my time). We need to find ways to reject the patriarchal dictates that glorify thinness without insulting the women who are naturally quite thin (and some are, just as some are naturally quite fat). It’s a problem when women starve themselves into artificial unhealthy thinness, of course, but some healthy, intuitively-eating women do have hipbones that stick out, and they should no more feel badly about that than I should about my cellulite-laden thighs.

    Which, again, isn’t to negate anything you said above: I love it. I just wanted to mention that.

  4. This is so well written, you sure know how to cut to the preverbial photo-shopped hip bone!

    As someone that doesn’t own a single pair of grown up shoes (I fall over my own feet in flats – it’s a health and safety issue mostly) or bought a ‘woman’s’ magazine since I was a teenager I have to say fashion is a complete and utter mystery to me.

    I simply don’t have the time or the finances for that matter to be forever obsessing over the lastest, transitory fashion, most of which wouldn’t suit me or I find vulgar and ugly anyway. I would rather pour my energy into more inward things – like you; my words, my growth, my SELF-image, rather than what everyone else thinks of me.

    I should be fair and say that fashion isn’t the same for all people, and that for some it is a very real and enjoyable way of expressing themselves and their personality. But all too often I think it becomes a patch for women’s insecurities, a way to allow them to ‘pretend’ confidence while hiding the deeper self-doubt underneath. And worse – feed those insecurities creating even more pressure to ‘fit in’ and look good to an impossibly and unrealistic standard.

    My worry is for the trend of young girls being initiated into the fashion world so early, dressing them up as mini models – granted that this is probably the one time in their lives that they will ‘fit’ the body image of the girls in the magazines and on the catwalk. But how disturbing is that? And by doing so we’re setting them up for a life time of financial pressure and insecurity, of NEEDING the latest look, worrying about weight and body image and running up huge debts on their store cards.

    All this being said, I’m not going to lie… some new clothes now and then would be lovely. This hodge-podge charity shop look I’m sporting is getting a little old. Maybe I’m just jealous?! Quite possibly…

  5. Charlotte says:

    Go Ms Savage! I have to admit to being both attracted and repulsed by fashion. It’s very hard for me to break the attraction, but the more repulsed I become by the likes of Karl Lagerfeld and his size-zero requirements, the easier it is.

  6. Alex says:

    I think blaming it on the white man is a little facile (but then hey, I’m a white man). If you look into fashion many of the couture designers are at best bisexual if not outright homosexual, so to portray it as a white mans crime is a little misleading because other industries or professions (probably those that only pay women 83p in the pound against men) are equally as bigoted against openly gay senior management as they would be against women. Fashion exists in a bubble peculiar to itself in my book.

    Going a little further, who regularly tops the power list in Fashions movers and shakers? Anna Wintour, editor of American Vogue. New York Fashion week is run by Fern Mallis, my missus has always been a fan of the hugely influential Vivian Westwood (and her stuff is teeny tiny), I could go on. Marco Jacobs is always there or there abouts, as is Armani (banned models with a BMI under 18 a couple of years ago), both openly gay, as was the late Versace, who’s fashion house now has his sister as lead designer.

    But even beyond the trawl through the great and the good in fashion, there is one key underlying principle that really needs to be touched upon. The issue of “belonging”. To talk of fashion as though it were one coherent whole is misleading, moreso now in the age of the internet. Fashion is inherently about belonging- that is identifying yourself with a (sub)group or (sub)culture by means of physical appearance. Sure, there are the well off who can afford to follow the designer labels, but equally there are the Goths, the sports wear brigade (ranging from Fred Perry,Nike and Addidas, right the way down to Kappa and other low end brands), there are the urban labels like G-Star for your young black lads, and so on and so on.

    People wear these clothes to identify themselves with the culture they follow and that to me sounds like an entirely different blog post and discussion :)

  7. NS says:

    @Vered – Thanks for giving me the inspiration for this post! I don’t think there’s anything wrong with aesthetics, per se, but I think we need to examine the principles and motivation behind what we deem pleasing to the eye, particularly when it comes to fashion.

    @Arwyn – I am not into thin bashing and find it just as bad as fat bashing. Evoking an image of hipbones jutting out was meant to emphasise the way in which fashion models are expected to look and to what lengths they’re encouraged or forced to go to to achieve that look, which, for most women, is unnatural. I’m sure that some of them are just naturally that shape and I don’t mean to denigrate them at all. Perhaps it was a poor word choice and for that I apologise if it offended anyone. I have no antipathy towards the models themselves, only the industry and the way it is inherently run.

  8. NS says:

    @Josie – What you described sounds just like me, including the charity shop chic. ;)

    @Charlotte – Yeah, I’m sure it’s a difficult thing to reconcile for those who do genuinely have an interest in fashion. I don’t think it’s necessarily unfeminist or anything, to like fashion or be attracted to it, but I have so many problems with it that like you said it’s easy to just say screw it and forget about it entirely.

  9. NS says:

    @Alex – What does homosexuality have to do with it? Nowhere in my post did I say white STRAIGHT men, I said “white, rich dudes.” Unless you’re saying that gay men can be neither white nor rich then I’m not sure what your point is. And though there are influential women in fashion, certainly, the majority are still men and the *founders* of couture fashion as we know it was almost solely the creation of said rich, white dudes (both gay and straight). Even so, that’s all besides the point. Just because women are involved in something does not mean it’s woman-friendly or feminist or equal opportunity. Having female boxers does not make boxing less violent, it just means that the boxing industry has successfully indoctrinated enough women willing to be punching bags and inflict pain on others. Having women involved in couture fashion does not mean it’s not sexist and dangerous.

    I take your point about fashion not being solely about the couture variety so I should have made it clear that that was the type of fashion I was talking about. Following clothing trends or using clothing as a form of expression is not in itself wrong or misguided, but I do question the use of it in dividing our society into the have and have-nots.

  10. Alex says:

    Sorry my point was tied in to your use of “white, rich dudes” which seemed to be a generic term for business leaders (some of whom are rich, and white, but if you look at the forbes or the times rich lists a lot of them are Indian sub continent billionaires of course, many of whom will have cultural attitudes towards women that make “white, rich dudes” look relaxed). I think I would be happy to assert that a homosexual mans attitude to women would be different to a straight mans. Whether that would extend to how he chose to rip them off with fashion, I don’t know. I think the attitude and demographic of business leaders in fashion is considerably different to most other major business sectors. The big couture fashion houses were originally built on creative design rather than business acumen, so comparing Marc Jacobs to the chairman of IBM isn’t going to wash with me.

    Reading that back, it doesn’t do a particularly good job of clarifying my point- perhaps I mean being shitty and exploiting people can be done by anyone in any given market, and is only done predominately by men because thanks to antiquated ideas they happen to be the ones in those positions of power atm, given anyone else the opportunity and they’d do the same.

    Look how HP treated their staff with Carly Fiorina at the helm. If a woman feels she has to go the extra mile to be more ruthless than her male colleagues to achieve the same or lower levels of recognition, does it matter whether that’s a fault of the patriarchal system if you’re on the receiving end of it?

    You are right to say just because women are involved (in some of the most powerful positions in fashion) it doesn’t mean it makes it women friendly, but to that I would say its people exploiting women, not “white, rich dudes”- a woman can do it just as well as a man it would appear.

  11. Potty Mummy says:

    Go NS. And pass me the crisp bowl, whilst you’re at it?

  12. Very well written and I agree with your sentiment. Fortunately the world of high fashion is largely ignored by everyday mums and working women like us who are just trying to get on with their lives. Yes, images from the fashion weeks are plastered everywhere in the media and we’re all very used to the airbrushed stick thin models and celebrities. There’s been so much backlash recently against size 0 that I think many of us are rising above it and not worrying that we don’t look like these women. Yes it’s an unpleasant facet of our society and I worry about its effect on young impressionable women who don’t yet have the confidence to be themselves. At least in this country women have a choice in what we wear and how we present ourselves, we just need to ignore media pressure.

  13. NS says:

    @Alex – I think we’re mainly agreeing here but just using different terminology. If I’m reading you correctly, you are agreeing that the fashion industry (amongst others) is sexist but you think this is not because of individual men but rather the way the system is set up, which men just so happen to have control over. Specifically, white and rich men. I think perhaps that what you’re hearing when I say “patriarchy” is a collection of individual men set out to torture women and keep them down for their own malicious purposes. That’s not what I mean at all (though that type of man does exist, he is not all that common). When I say patriarchy or “rich, white dudes” I mean the system that goes back a long, long way — way before the existing rich, white dudes — and in which a small proportion of a certain type of alpha male makes decisions for and rules over the rest of the population, specifically with regards to restricting and controlling women.

    As far as women participating in the patriarchy in detriment to other women, even themselves, I totally agree with you. Their participation doesn’t make it any less relevant or harmful. But taking an example of women joining the patriarchy in order to compete with men and be successful in their chosen profession and saying “See! Women do it too so it’s not just men!” isn’t an argument against patriarchy, it’s an illustration of just how powerful it is.

    A black child, when given the choice between a white doll and a black doll will almost always choose the white doll as “better” or “good” or “nice.” That doesn’t mean that race doesn’t matter to them, but rather that they’ve been so conditioned to believe that white is better than black that they themselves feel substandard in comparison to their lighter skinned peers. It shows how powerful and subtle and completely ingrained racism is, even in those it oppresses. The same could be said for how women are conditioned to view beauty and their bodies. It’s not just a series of actions or discriminations that everyone can see or identify, it’s messages that sink in over time and that we are constantly bombarded with, until we think that 120 lb. 5’11 tall women are the norm and WE are the freaks for being 5’4 and 150.

    I hope that makes sense.

  14. jen says:

    hmm. this is a difficult one for me. while I agree with much if what you say, I think for me the biggest problem is not that it’s misogynist, but that it’s so classist. after all, much of fashion is also aimed at men, but it is ALL aimed at the rich. Lagerfelds comment was so inexcusable because it felt clear to me that he was taking aim at chip-lovers as people of average means and thus below stooping to their level. after all, he’s saying, he doesn’t design for THEM.

    fashion is all about being aspirational. we’re supposed to want those high heels not because they’re oppressive, but because they indicate a certain luxury status I.e. j don’t have to work on my feet all day. the crazy runway items which are ridiculously impractical except for those who have nothing to do but jetset and go to parties and
    sit around looking fabulous. and rich and thin, of course go together like hand in glove.

    and while eating disorders are, of course, inflenced heavily by media image, they are also overwhelmingly found in middle and upper classes. while I’d love to lay the blame for my eating disorder at the feet of te partriarchy, sadly I can’t. I don’t give a fuck about fashion, but it didn’t stop my particular brand of self-immolation from spiraling out of control.

    anyway, there’s a whole other range of things (including racism) to touch upon, but they’ll have to wait til i’m home from work.

    until then, fuck fashion

  15. Warning: This comment may contain deconstruction. Sorry. Also, just becuase I’m questioning Noble Savage in some ways doesn’t mean that I don’t entirely agree with the spirit of the above. Lagerfiled’s comments and actions are loathesome.

    I enjoyed the post and found it hard to argue with, but I wouldn’t say ‘fuck fashion’. The question is more do we want to communicate to the world via our codes of dress using a language we’ve defined for ourselves or via one that’s been defined for us? Alex mentions a slew of “tribal fashions”. Many of those are influenced by mainstream haut couture; others are parodies. Still more consciously attempt to exist in their own continuum or allow themselves to be defined as outside of the centre of power by their meticulous rejection of the language of mainstream fashion as addressed in the centre (by the centre I mean the mainstream, the norm, the highstreet version of the most commoditised of the big labels). Others are co-opted by the centre (though arguably still maintain a core of subversion).

    Goth is a prime example of something whose tropes have been thoroughly copted by both haut couture, then aped in turn by Hollywood but which still maintains an outsider edge, something a little beyond the pale. This is especially clear if you look at the areas of Goth overlapping with bondage and S&M subculture where the language of binding and restricting of women AND men exclusively used as a language of dominance of women by the likes of Lagerfield becomes something else more complex all together.

    I’d say that the answer is not to reject the language of fashion but to take ownership of it in the same way that the language of racism and hate can only be fought by understanding the conditions that generate its existence, criticising them and generating new ways of talking about race. Fashion has too much to say about race, gender, ethnicity, nationality, sexuality and a million other things to be left to the likes of the Lagerfields. Here’s a picture of K.D. Lang that addresses some of these points http://www.autostraddle.com/wp-content/uploads/2009/08/K.D.-Lang.jpg. Oh, and one wonders whether Beth Ditto has become a poster-child for the dangers of the margin when it tries to become the centre. But that’s another story.

    Disclosure: I have four pairs of blue jeans, large quantities of black t-shirts and shirts, three black suits and one grey suit. I generally communicate that I’m a mess.

  16. I think you might hate me, but I love fashion. I love it with a passion, I always have done. I have never viewed it as anything other than an art form. I cant afford fashion at all, I’m not in the least fashionable, but I enjoy reading those magazines, listening to the thoughts of those designers, good or bad (doesn’t actually influence me). I like to read their autobiographies and visit their houses, museums and so forth. I lap up their inspirations for ideas and that has taken me back through the whole history of clothing and inspired me in my own museum work. I have been behind the scenes at the fashion archive at the V & A it was like a dream come true. I have no aspirations to own their stuff other than to enjoy the craft of it.

    Throughout history and cultures different female body shapes have been viewed as beautiful. A little look at the archives of paintings in all museums will show that. At the moment thin is viewed as beautiful, but one could argue that this is no different to when fat was beautiful. There are many different historical male and female personalities that have spouted things about the shape of women. The fact that they are famous seems to make it more significant that what it should be.

    The important thing is for women and young girls to be empowered and to feel happy in their decisions and choices in life. If they choose to indulge in fashion, then why not? Its better than lots of other choices they could make in life. If they choose to wear clothes that are fairly and ethically traded, then brilliant, but that is also their choice.

    There is a fine line between empowering women, brainwashing them and instilling the idea that they have choices to make on a daily basis and letting them make them freely without fearing judgement from other women or men. The danger for many young women nowadays is that they are dammed if they do and dammed if they dont. Its finding the confidence in yourself not to care either way and this is what I will be trying to install into my daughter.

    Interesting post!

  17. nicola says:

    Great post. Everything you write is so convincing that I am head nodding and tutting away usually within the first paragraph.

    But I can’t deny that I do love clothes. And am a bit of a fashion victim. I don’t do designer labels – not just because i can’t afford to but because I know it isn’t necessary to spend a lot of money to look and feel great. My mum loved clothes and used to make most of our when I was a kid. I don’t think that I necessarily have a great fashion sense and it’s certainly not an obsession, but I certainly can appreciate women who have a certain style.

    Having said that, the women who are predominantly my role models were not fashion conscious in the least. Anita Roddick and Linda McCartney are the type of women who I most admire. Women who aren’t frightened to follow their passions with integrity – who are smart and bold and live life by their rules. And that’s what I try to remember when I am berating myself for having gained a few pounds or when I am feeling a frump. So what does it matter what I look like – it’s why I do with my life and how I live my life that really matters.

    And it’s funny – but the thing that I never expected my pole dancing class to change was my attitude to what is really sexy about women’s bodies. The skinny women who attend are generally not sexy and sensual in the least. It is the mums who turn up in sweats, hair scraped back, bodies soft and curvy who emulate the most sex appeal when they move. There is something so undeniably feminine about breasts and hips and curves and flesh. Such a shame this isn’t celebrated by the fashion culture. Because most of the normal man I have talked to don’t give a stuff about women’s clothes and are not all attracted to size zero. They really do want a ‘real’ woman. Someone who is supremely comfortable in their own skin.

    So the fact that many women – and particularly younger women – fall prey to the fashion culture ideals is quite tragic.

  18. Lyn says:

    Fashion in and of itself is an art form that, like other art forms, is all in the eye of the beholder. I can certainly appreciate a delicately woven or sumptuously textured piece of fabric, admire the artful mix of color and design, breathe in the freshness of cotton and the earthy scent of leather, loll in the softness of flannel. But the fabric is only the medium for the art. It is the fashion designer who becomes the artist. And they, like other artists, must decide what form and for what audience their art will be directed. In every medium you will find those artists who truly work for the art itself and those who focus their creativity toward a more capitalistic goal. The fashion industry is a capitalistic venture, not a purely artistic endeavor, and therefore, it directs its focus on the most likely group of buyers, those with money to burn. Women and men alike can fall into the trap of keeping up with the Joneses and their insecurities can lead them to fall victim to all the ads that try to make them feel as if they are nobody if they aren’t wearing somebody’s idea of success. When they open their wallets to this kind of pressure they become the fools the industry counts on. And the designers that are able to capture that market tend to become the prima-donnas who feel that they can dictate what is in good taste and look down on those who don’t fit into or fall for that dictum. There will always be fools willing to part with their money. I suspect that the artists and the industry must be laughing all the way to the bank.

  19. Expat Mum says:

    I always have to laugh at the fashion reality shows on TV. They take themselves SO bloody seriously. Same with the fashion magazine people like Wintour. It’s clothes at the end of the day, for god’s sake!

  20. A very powerful post. I conformed to the thin image I felt women needed to be for many years and made myself dreadfully ill. So I agree so much with what you say.

  21. I love this post. Thank you for writing it.

    Personally, I love fashion, but I hate the fashion industry. I like being able to put together a coordinated outfit with just the right textures and colours. I hate that I can’t walk into a store and find anything decent that looks good on me. The things I imagine in my head that I would love to wear just don’t exist. I need to learn how to sew. I have tried. I suck. So I am at their mercy…

  22. Emms says:

    Interesting post & really great comments :o ) I, too, love fashion mainly from the art & aesthetic perspective. I feel the industry is in need of revision but as yet there appears to be little move by a fresh, innovative business approach…any wonder considering how prosperous it is!

    I just wonder when Lagerfeld made the comments had he been reading tips on PR. E.g. ‘There’s no such thing as bad publicity’ I wonder how many blogs, forums across the world are discussing this & adding to the google, press & popularity rankings.

    In regards to the female body image, I think that whilst the fashion industry does little to help prevailing image attitudes they are not causing the issues. I think that these would be very much down to the individual and their own personal problems, potentially aggrivated by fashion images etc. Are there studies correlating the connection between fashion industry & anorexia for example?
    Very thought provoking post, thanks NS!

  23. Iota says:

    Having a body that will not remain young and perfect is one of the very few certainties of this life. So it is better to realise idea early on, I think, that if having a perfect body is your key to high self-esteem, then you’re onto a hiding to nothing. I’m totally with you on what you say about the damage that the fashion industry does to women by promulgating the myth that we should all aspire to be size zero. Even those who achieve that can’t keep it for ever.

    And yes, I hate the way it encourages a throwaway attitude to clothes and accessories.

    More than anything, it saddens me to see a whole generation growing up thinking they are defined by what they wear, and what they carry. The way fashion has filtered down into children’s clothing and toys is just plain sad. It definitely wasn’t like that when I was a child, but I can see that it’s a whole big lucrative market for the fashion industry. Sad.

  24. Courtney says:

    This is such a great post, and one I really needed right now…I am by far the least fashionable person in my office. The women I work with don’t read or go see (good) films or have any interest in the arts…all they want to do is shop. Lately I’ve been feeling inferior because I’ve never been interested in shopping and I worry little about my wardrobe (although that is changing, a bit – post to come) but you are so, so right! I really appreciate everything you have to say, here!