Slave to Fashion - Slave to Uniformity
By Michelle, age 16, South Africa
Do we all really need to understand our Prada from our Gucci?
Modern society today has been revolutionised in a way never seen before. Unheard of now are the days when fashion houses Chanel and Yves Laurent catered exclusively for the upper class, the rich and famous. Anyone today can get their hands on a designer piece - authentic or imitation - the choice lies within the buyer. Though, the question is, have we become blind sheep following the herd of the fashion trend? Suppressing one's individuality and becoming clones?
The world of fashion may have its population of devoted followers, but one may happily admit that there are those who stray away from the pack and branch out into their own individual style, the latter becoming the presidents of the couture society.
Let us pretend that the world of fashion is one in the same as that of the world Adolf Hitler lived through, replacing Hitler and his rifle with Coco Chanel and her scissors. Truth be told, the fashion community is one dictated by whether or not the tartan print is in or out.
Is falling under a dictatorship of what to wear or not creating a hindrance on one's sense of individuality?
As much as it is comforting to know that there is a helping hand to guide you, what happens when that guide morphs into the devil itself? People have accumulated hundreds and thousands of Rands, Dollars, and Euros of debt in their bid to be the sole owner of a limited edition designer item. Is the loss of your car truly worth the purchase of a dainty clutch purse, considering that in the end you will have neither money nor keys to place into it? Surely not.
I, like any other person, am a lover of fashion, but still enjoy the guilty pleasure of abiding to uniformity. Not having to be dictated by an unseen face lightens the burden to focus on much more pressing matters such as work, family, and friends. Having a dress code already set out is comforting too, in the sense that those who do not have the financial income to compete with the Paris Hiltons of the world may focus their minds on other issues, therefore not resulting in a 'friendly' visit from the debt collector.
Uniformity may also be looked down upon as a semi-dictator, but with the interests of equality in mind, how can one debate on its suppression of individuality? In all good justice, it is the saviour to mankind from public embarrassment and ridicule over not having a designer label. It will always have a place next to the fashion dictator. Just like in life, the DA political party alongside the ANC.*
* Editor's Note: DA stands for Democratic Alliance, the opposition party and second most powerful political party in South Africa. ANC is the African National Congress, the majority party.