What Does Fashion Mean to You?
By Stephanie Lynn, age 21, Massachusetts
A while back I asked Sweet Designs viewers "What does fashion mean to you?" I got some really interesting responses. I'd like to share them with you.
Many of you viewed fashion as an important form of self-expression. Amy said, "To me, fashion ... tells people something about you that you can't say in words."
Kayla, 15, agreed. "To me, fashion is an art. It's a way of expressing who you are with clothing!"
"Fashion means making [the] statement 'You are what you wear.' Fashion is about who you are and your creativity to be yourself." (Katina, age 15)
"Fashion to me is a way to express yourself. You can be sad or depressed and dress like a 'hobo' or you can feel good about yourself and be happy and dress like a million dollars. It all really depends. It is a way to express not only yourself but your creativity." (Cynthia, 14)
"Fashion is a way of expression. It [shouts] thousands of words just by putting on a t-shirt. Fashion shows who you are, who you aren't, or who you want to be." (Jeanette, 15)
Yay for Fashion
Some of you expressed even stronger feelings. Thirteen year old Ashley wrote, "Fashion gets you places. Fashion basically decides how cool you are!!"
Taylee, 13, said: "Fashion is my life. It's who I am and who I want to be."
Brittany, 14, feels "Fashion is every fantasy and every sin a girl can make. Fashion is a lot more than clothes and a look. It's what keeps a girl happy."
As Kelsee views it, "Fashion = Life. You must always look your best. You never know who is watching you. Plain and simple ... hot and sexy ... cute and fun ... It's all fashion!"
The Dark Side
Some of you, however, saw a darker side to fashion. Savannah, age 14, wrote: "Fashion is a way to control what young people look like, and destroy what's inside of them if they don't look the way everybody else is brainwashed to think they should look."
Amber added, "Fashion means obsession over appearance."
According to Karson, 13, "Fashion means stereotypes."
Kassandra, 15, also took a critical view. "Fashion to me means self-confidence problems. People are too worried over labels and brand names, when someone can't afford that certain store or style, or they just don't like spending so much on clothes, they get teased or picked on. It really makes me mad that our society is so focused on something that means so little that we don't notice the most important things about a person. The first thing we think is "OMG, she's not wearing AE ... well, she MUST be a loser." I mean, I don't wear AE, Hollister, or any of that because I think it's ridiculous the way people flip out over their clothing. I like my style and the fact that what I wear no one else wears."
A Touch of Humor
Some of you adopted a humorous take on fashion.
Marie: "[Fashion means] Paris Hilton."
Kaitlyn: "Fashion is being broke."
Veronica: "Fashion ... hmmmm ... fashion means ... ummmm ... SHOPPING!!"
Katie, 15: "If the shoe fits, buy it."
Just Be Yourself
Uniqueness - not following trends, but rather defining yourself - was a recurring theme. Maria, age 13, wrote: "What fashion means to me is that it's not about buying designer clothes. It's about having your style and being you ... even if you are different from everyone else. Fashion is being unique."
Rachel, age 14, added: "Fashion to me is expressing yourself, not caring what the latest trend is, but wearing what not only is comfortable, but says YOU. Wearing what you want and how it complements you can tell a person a lot about you. It's the next closest thing to allowing someone to know what you're like by not actually verbally telling them. Fashion is like an empty canvas - you, of course, being the painter. Whatever you put on that canvas expresses how you feel and what you're like."
Mima, age 13, wrote: "To me fashion isn't about what's in and what's not. It's about what you're drawn to. As soon as you see it, you want it."
Courtney, 14, added: "I think that fashion is what you make it to be. I think it's a way to describe yourself through your clothes and how you wear them."
Priscilla, 14, agreed. "Fashion to me means the power of saying what you can't say."
Adelaide, age 13, shared an affirming vision of the fashion ideal: "Fashion is dynamic. Fashion is revolutionizing. It can turn the most warted of a witch into a graceful swan."
To Wrap it Up
Macky, age 14, offered up some advice. "Fashion is not something everyone just knows. You have to learn about it. If you don't have fashion, you don't know fashion. It's all about you and who you want to be. Don't follow the others. Be yourself. Make your own designs. Put together a new outfit. Whatever it is you like and wear in a way that says, "Hey look, I'm different, and there's nuthin' you can do about it!"
Alia, 13, summed it up for many of you. "Fashion is what is most beautiful to you at this moment."