Friday, August 20, 2010

Fashion and Stereotypes

I was getting very frustrated with people believing things about me (things that are untrue, might I add) because of the fact that I am going to school for fashion. It was almost as if they were mocking me, crediting me with stupidity. As always I took my frustration out on my key board. I let all my thoughts dance on paper until I felt better. Then I had a thought; Why not let others read those dancing thoughts? I should get my side of the story out there and let people know who I really am and what I'm all about. So, I fixed it up real nice and am using it as my next article for my "Diaries of a College Girl" Column in the next Issue (which I chose to be the Fashion Issue) of the Impressionist (my school news paper).
Self-centered; greedy; vain; aloof; bitchy; unintelligent; wealthy; acquisitive; spoiled; conceited...and the list goes on. Being a fashion student there is always a lot of thoughts and theories that people assume I live up to. There never seems to be any breathing room between who I am and what people associate me with. Fellow students whom I’ve grown close to have confessed to me that before they got to know me they tossed me into that selfish, bitchy, valley girl stereotype the moment they saw me. It’s unfortunate for me because it wasn’t until they got to know me that they took me out. People tend to think that I'm that girl who can't stop saying ‘like’ to save my life and that I only really care about clothes, shoes, makeup, hair products, and going to the spa to have girls nights. They assume that I will drop dead if I don’t get my nails done every week or that I will have a fit if, god forbid, my mascara runs, blah, blah, blah. The label that fashion students are connected to is pure absurdity.
          I’m not stupid, or an airhead, I’m not a preppy bitch, or by any means am I rich, and believe it or not I actually care about the important things in life-family, friends, school, my future- instead of wasting my time complaining about split ends, not to mention the boy I’m in lust with who is a complete loser and the fact that he didn’t call. How am I supposed to escape it? Why do people associate me with that typecast, especially considering the fact that this group is molded around the popular, preppy girls from Clueless, Mean Girls, and other TV shows revolved around the materialistic world of immature high-schoolers. Besides the select few I don’t even think that world exists beyond our imagination or television screens. It follows me everywhere and no one can ignore the automatic theory that comes with meeting a fashion student… especially at an art school. The assumption that these students are unintelligent, narcissistic airheads with a wallet the size of Manhattan is purely based upon unrealistic genres of entertainment. Of course, in some instances that’s true and I’m absolutely sure there are fashion students out there that do fit that description but you can’t spend your life judging books by their covers.
          If you rid yourself of those thoughts and looked beyond the outer shell I bet you would find someone who is humble and loving, someone who cares about their future and family just as much as you do. So many of us are still struggling to find ourselves in this condemnatory and judgmental world. We are trying to live up the expectations, or trying to escape the scrutiny, that society has put us through and those thoughts only add to the struggle. I think it’s time we step away from the world we’ve been so comfortable in for the past twenty years and open up the door to reality. It is only until that door is open that we will realize how much of society’s faults and criticisms are coming from ourselves and the judgments we pass onto others. There would be no stereotyping if we, as individuals, hadn’t put them there in the first place.
         I see the body like a blank canvas and I enjoy painting that canvas with expensive silks and luminous fabrics. I adore clothes as much as a gamer does their video games. I enjoy putting an outfit together as much as a photographer loves to put together a scene for their shoot. I like accessorizing with fancy jewels as much as an interior designer like decorating with expensive furniture. I love style as much as a musician loves a good melody. I get as much excitement seeing a Vintage Chanel Suit or a 1938 Vionnet gown as a painter does in the Sistine Chapel or standing in front of the Mona Lisa. Just like any other field and profession, fashion has a history; it has stories and people who have dedicated their lives to making it what it is today. Fashion is a part of me but it will never define who I am; it’s where my passion and inspiration comes from. I like clothes not for their prices or other such aspects but for their evocative power, how much "dream" they carry with them.
          You can't ever know what words fill the pages of a book until you open it and read them.  Now do you understand how important it is to get to know and connect with someone before you single them out? You will never know what hidden treasures and fascinating stories they have to offer. I believe that people should do things for themselves rather than for the approval of others. To do something you love without considering what others are going to think of you takes courage and self confidence. Everyone, everywhere, no matter where you are will be quick to judge you; it’s a world of scrutiny and constant disapproval so I encourage you to throw away the need to mold yourself into a stereotype. Instead create your own label; YOU! Be your own person, be proud of it and don’t let anybody take it away from you.

Fly your own route.
Show your true colors.
Be your own person.

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