Like many, I am a social media addict. I am constantly checking my Instagram, Facebook, Twitter, and of course, my WordPress account. While feeding my addiction, I came across beautiful Chanel necklaces. They were shiny, platinum, and diamond encrusted. What wasn’t there to love? The accessory even had Chanel logo pad locks attached to the bottom. I tagged a friend in the post and made a comment about how much I loved the excess. Other users made similar comments and posted their love for the jewelry as well. As the day went on, I kept thinking about that piece of jewelry and what the chains and padlock symbolized.
Search the word “fashion” or “instafashion” at any given moment on Instagram and you will find over 17 million posts for “instafashion” and about 92 million for “fashion.” When did the world become so obsessed with style and what they see as fashion? This obsession is fairly new. Granted, fashion lovers have been around for centuries but fashion is seen as the ultimate status symbol. More than money, more than a career, more than virtue…fashion is king. Growing up, fashion was not the in thing. Yes, we all become more aware of certain things as we get older but we all can agree that style wasn’t the obsession it is today. In the 90’s and early 2000’s everyone wanted to be an actor, singer, sports star, or some type of entertainer. Something changed. Mark Zuckerberg and many like him, in my opinion, laid the foundation for the current fashion obsession. With the prevalence of social media, selfies, and how we narrate our lives through pictures, more and more people became aware of two things: 1. I need to look good and 2. I need to dress well. With so much emphasis on self-indulgence, looks, clothing, and style…the fashion world was the perfect industry to take over when it came to pop culture. What other industry places more emphasis on how to look, dress, and feel? None. To be honest, it used to be that only gay men, rich women, and photographers/models cared about fashion. Now, you can walk out on the street and ask any Joe Blow to identify a label or brand and he or she can do it without hesitation. What the hell happened?!
With the minds of generations becoming enslaved to appearance and clothing, slave masters or plantation owners was necessary. There is no slave without a master. Enter in the fashion editors like Anna Wintour, and designers like Karl Lagerfeld and Stella McCartney. The masters say what to wear, how to wear it, and who to admire and we the slaves do it! Granted, I am not complaining because I am a true fashion slave and wouldn’t have it any other way, but it’s something worth considering. Beyond dressing out of necessity, fashion has permeated its way into almost every aspect of our lives. Just think, how many times have you been late or frustrated because you couldn’t find anything to wear or find the right outfit? It wasn’t that you didn’t own clothing, the fact that your look or fashion choice was questionable was the problem.
The fashion slave mindset isn’t limited to everyday people. Even the elite cling to their status by accumulating fashion power. A Hollywood actor hasn’t hit it big until they’ve landed a major magazine cover or scored a style coup on the red carpet. For example, 12 Years A Slave star Lupita Nyong’o was out promoting the film well into the Fall of 2013 and Winter of 2013. While she always dressed well, she and the movie gained even more attention after she scored big fashion points at the 2014 Golden Globes wearing Ralph Lauren and then Gucci at the 2014 Screen Actors Guild Awards. Yes she is immensely talented but much of her public recognition and stardom is connected to how she dresses. Lena Dunham, Vogue’s February cover girl, is popular for her hit show and comedy styling. But once Girls became a hit series for HBO, you couldn’t catch her on the red carpet in anything less than designer or preferably Zac Posen. Even people who go against the grain or the anti-traditional beauty are slaves to the fashion mindset. And let’s not even open Pandora’s Box of all the fashion blogs, photographers, wannabe models, and stylists that are oversaturating the market. There isn’t enough memory on my blog for all that.
Is there anything wrong with being a slave to fashion? In most cases, I am against a slave mindset to anything. But, if it makes people feel good, look good, and connects cultures and borders…is it so wrong? Just do me a favor and consider the impact that fashion has on your daily life. Seriously. There’s nothing wrong with being a slave to fashion. The problem is when you’re a slave and don’t know it.
3FReligion…where Friends, Fashion, and Food Rule!