Taylor Swift's most recent single "You Belong with Me" has a music video that mimicks like half of teen movies from the 80's and 90's: geeky girl with glasses has a makeover before the "big dance" and steals the super hot quarter back from his slutty head-cheerleader girlfriend. (For examples see: She's All That, The Breakfast Club, Pretty in Pink, ect.)
Our society tells girls that looks get guys. Not your personality, not your ability to tell a great joke, not your artistic skills: the way you look dictates whether or not you will find love in your life. Now, by college I hope that many of us have had life experience that proves otherwise. But the media and advertising use this concept time and time again. And why? To make you buy stuff, duh! I mean, sure Taylor is getting rid of the glasses, but she has to go out and buy the mascara, hairspray, lipstick, push-up bra, and dress to in order to "transform" herself into someone this jock would actually date. And that's a lot of product (and profit for the companies).
As Kawamura states, fashion occurs when a value is added to clothing (5); but what happens when we believe that the clothing we wear will change our lives? Or, maybe, do we think that all fashions will change our lives?
As we learned in "Designers: The Personification of Fashion", designers play a more important role in creating an image about the person who wear their clothes, rather than in the actual clothing production. Chanel created the image that women who wore her clothes would be more independent, liberated by the shortened hemlines. But were the women liberated before they bought the clothes and therefore identified with the fashion, or did they buy the clothing expecting to be liberated?
We use fashion to non-verbally communicate to the world about our identities. Whether it's wearing ethnic dress to express cultural pride or donning plaid and safety pins to express a rebellion from society, we can communicate through our style. But what we communicate does not always reflect our true selves.
I'd like to use this last blog as a sort of PSA to girls (in this class and everywhere). DO NOT THINK THAT CLOTHES WILL MAKE YOUR LIFE BETTER. Yes, there are those girls on campus who dress so freakin cute and they look happy all the time, and gosh darnit, don't you just want to be them? Well, news flash people: They got issues too. And just because they wear cute clothes, doesn't mean they get good grades, or have good friends, or have enough money to buy lunch. Because I bet they don't have money to buy lunch, because they're broke from buying new stuff all the time. And I'd much rather buy food, eat it, and be happy than buy clothes, stress about not having any money, and fall asleep in class because I'm so hungry. I guess that's why I'll never be a model or like "cool". But I do have some good friends, who appreciate me and all my dorky habits, and they don't mind that I don't always shave my legs, or pluck my eyebrows, or wear stupid trendy shit like day glow hot pants. So, just take a moment to remeber that you have a lot going for you besides the way you look; so get that monkey off your back, stop listening to the t.v., and don't buy clothes to make yourself look cooler anymore!