Sunday, December 7, 2014

Wendie H. Vang - Blog 4

Fashion Systems, Scarification, Tattoos, and Not Being Green

Finally, the end of the quarter has arrived. I learned a lot in this course, such as fashion systems, sneakers, tattoos, textiles, commodity chains, hair, and so much more. In the last readings Kawamura was discussing how not all fashionologists had the same definitions for a fashion system. Some of them included clothing as display of fashion while others believed clothing was fashion.
            In one example, Kawamura compared simple fashion systems to complex fashion systems (Kawamura 2006, 46). Her simple fashion system example was the Tivs of Nigeria. They scar themselves for fashion purposes and the scars vary from generation to generation. I went online to read more about this, since I’m fascinated by scars and tattoos. In one article the author wrote that the scars represented status and wealth (Knoxvillage 1982). This statement would lead me to think that certain scars represent a certain status or wealth, but Kawamura’s statement makes me wonder how fashion would fit into this. If patterns change from generation to generation, then how would the community know which scars represent which status. From a different source about African scarring, scarring was expensive which meant the more scars you had the more money you owned.
Woodblock Print
            Before this class, I was hesitant to admit my interest in tattoos. However, after reading about the origins of tattoos and what tattooists think of their work, I’ve come to appreciate their life choices more. I like the floral and goldfish designs. I can handle the demonic images, but I don’t think I’m quite ready to accept that culture completely. I also like henna as well. I like basically anything floral patterned. I want to learn more about different cultures, because I want to know more about how others see the world and not because I want to wear their clothing and feel like I need their approval. No one can claim a type of clothing is theirs and only theirs. It’s very selfish and narrow-minded.
            Overall, this course made me appreciate my culture and other cultures. For the begreen challenge, I must admit that I failed. Yesterday when I was at Michaels, I ended up buying a load of Hello Kitty and My Little Pony toys for my little sister. I’ve gotten into the habit of giving her unnecessary gifts. I can stop myself from getting unnecessary things, yet when it comes to her and my younger brother, I feel like I need to buy them objects to get there affection. I tried coming up with an excuse that it was okay to get the gifts, but I couldn’t think of one. I failed and I probably will continue to fail.

Bawa, Soriyya. “Tattoo Arts and Their Cultural Connections.” Fashion, Style, & Holiday Issue October 2011. web. 7 December 2014.
“Body Decorations & World Cultures: Henna or Mendhi patterns.” web. 7 December 2014.
Kawamura, Yuniya. “Fashionology.” Berg. Oxford and New York. 2006. Print.
Knoxvillage 1982. “Heart of Darkness: Scarification or Cicatrisation.” web. 7 December 2014.
Kuniyoshi, Utagawa. “Shoki and Demon.” web. 7 December 2014.
Mullowney, Paul Ed. “Wood Skin Ink: The Japanese Aesthetic in Modern Tattooing.” Print.
“Scarification.” web. 7 December 2014.

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