I originally was interested in fashion, not because I necessarily chose to, but because there was an underlying social norm to ‘look good’. That intrigued me. I was interested (particularly in American’s) in women’s need and want to dress themselves in a way that made them feel not only good, but identified. It may sounds like a cliche, but the way we dress does reflect a certain quality about who we are.
If you feel the need to be seen in the latest high-end designs or shop the most expensive rack at Nordstrom, chances are you have many insecurities that need to be addressed. I do not mean this in a demeaning way. I honestly empathize and sympathize with that. As women, we have this underlying desire to be accepted. The mainstream fashion industry has forced and taught us to believe that wearing today’s latest, hottest styles will allow us to feel validated. Now, do not get me wrong. I can appreciate a beautiful designed and executed couture piece. I still do believe in the beauty of couture fashion and the artistry it takes. However, as an average American girl, those specific pieces cannot identify with my daily life. I am constantly at struggle finding practical ways to express my creativity through fashion and putting too high of expectations on myself.
Because we put such high expectations on ourselves as American women, we are actually degrading our fellow woman across the country. While we may adore a couture piece, in actuality, we cannot afford those pieces. So, we suffice for the fast fashion industry; a knock-off of couture or high-end pieces at an unreasonably low price point. I understand the appeal for fast fashion pieces — you can look like those high expectations without breaking the wallet of a struggling middle class.
What if we loved from afar? Those women creating our latest fast fashion clothing items….what if we loved them without having ever met them? These women are certainly in worse situations than we are in the States. These women leave their children and families for garment factories, just to make some type of income. Even though they are abused and exploited in the process. If you saw your own mother, grandmother, sister, daughter, or niece struggling in the same capacity…would you advise them to keep pursuing a career with the garment industry?
Most likely your answer is no. So back to my question…what if we loved these women from afar? What if we respected them enough to say “enough is enough?” I demand change. Put your dollars where your values are.