Sunday, December 2, 2012

Spirit of Youth

Blog #5

The youth culture has enormous power on the rest of the world these days.  Innovations begin in grade school, reaching a peak in high school.  And why not?  Young people have time to enjoy life – life before college is relatively simple in a typical American kid.  This free time offers plenty of room to foster creativity, and brief sunbursts of trends have a very in-time chic.  I remembered a time where something called Silly Bands – colorful animal-shaped rubber bands -  were in style among the high school youth. 

This fad did die out fairly quickly, but its popularity indeed spread like a wildfire -  "Silly Bandz sales, alone, hit the $200 million a year mark at their peak. Advertising Age named it one of America's "Hottest Brands" (Horovitz).  Now, why does the adult population have less of these instances?  Why is something like Silly Bands not rampaging through the adult population?  Silly.  Not only do adults have pressing responsibilities, they also are pressured to keep a stoic nature – one that will gain them approval (an possibly a promotion) from the higher-ups.  In the adult world, one has already supposedly found their niche, while in high school and perhaps college, one is free to experiment with fashions without a chance of lasting repercussion, because they do not necessarily have to suck up to their elders just yet.

“Youth Culture is the epitome of the postmodern consumer as well as producer of fashion (Kawamura)”.  Don’t take the average teenager’s ridiculously gaudy colors for granted, world – it could now be the next global trend.  So it’s no big surprise that designers often make it big when they bring the fads of the young up to the Big Kid level of fashion – to the runway.  These days, I notice that trends tend to go ever more bold.  

Ridiculous is a strong word for high fashion, and I do not wish to be biased towards or away from respectable designers, but the word ‘ridiculous’ is a word that I sometimes have when I gape at some runway pieces.

I’m not saying that this is a bad thing.  Fashion, in many ways, reflects the free experimentation of the young and the brash.  Fashion is ever-changing, and oftentimes, fashion is for fun, giving us a breath of fresh air within the seriousness of the oppressive adult world.

Be Green Challenge:
This challenge is over.  I have failed – I have bought things for my family.  I have succumbed to the pressures of consumption.  I have also failed my hat-making challenge – so far, I have only made two hats due to a chronic lack of time.  However, I am still going to go strong with the challenge, even though there is no more challenge, because this anti-consumption concept has got me thinking of alternate things that I could give others for Christmas.  Food has been mentioned in one of my previous updates as possibly fabulous presents, but I have never actually realized exactly how fabulous it really was.  I have been watching Youtube videos on how to mass-produce almond biscotti, which is something that is easy to make, yet is classy and looks amazing with the right packaging. 

I might have to pop over to Joanne’s for some wrapping supplies, but other than that, I plan to hand-make my presents.  Overall, the guilt that comes from a challenge now has me thinking twice about buying anything in general, always asking myself – could I make this at home?  Could I opt for something else instead?  Will this item really benefit me in the long run?  Although I was never a big impulse buyer, I always went for items that appeared cheap – then, when I bring it home, it ends up becoming a useless piece of junk to be tossed in the garage.  This challenge had instilled a valuable lesson in me – yes, it may be ninety percent off, but do I truly need this?

-Jing Mai

Outside Source:

Horovitz, Bruce.  "Silly Bandz Fad Fades in a Matter of Months".  USA Today. 17 December 2010. Web.

Inside Source:

Kawamura, Yuniwa. Fashion-ology: An Introduction to Fashion Studies - Conclusion. Oxford: Berg, 2006. 106. Print. 

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