Fashion magazines are not realistic. I treat them like they are fiction books with pictures. They are all fairytale dresses and Mad Hatter’s Tea Party-type outfits perfect for a good story, but morally wrong.
No-one can kiss a frog and return it to its human state, and even if they could, there’s no guarantee that they would be a handsome prince.
The same idea can be applied to fashion: you can buy a fancy dress and wear it but there’s no guarantee that it will make you look and feel good, no matter how much you pay for it.
Those perfect shots of beautiful, skinny models with absurdly good facial bone structure and wearing diamond-encrusted, shiny, well-fitting clothes with a killer price-tag too? They took a long time to make: the right model with the right look/hair colour/eye colour/skin colour, the right outfit, the right lighting, the right make-up, the right hairstyle.
Dressing up was fun when we were children: you could be Batman but also wear Superman’s cape at the same time; you could be a princess with fairy wings; you could dress up in your mum’s clothes and wear as much of her makeup as possible; you could go food shopping with your mum while wearing Spiderman costume and no-one would care.
Now, everything you wear has to “work”, otherwise people will judge you. If you don’t fit the clothes sizes in clothes shops, you feel ostracised by the fashion world (and by society). You envy thinner people, even if you are yourself skinny. You might have dieted everyday of your life since your teens. You might push the desire to be skinny too far and exercise compulsively, purge yourself or starve yourself, just to fit into clothing made for a shop mannequin.
Years ago, people made their own clothes to fit themselves or their loved ones, because you had to, or because you wanted something unique. Every item was hand-crafted lovingly. And it was part of everyday life.
Now, paying someone else to make clothes for you is commonplace and we don’t have to time to make our own. We let others dictate what we wear, when to wear it, or how to wear it. It doesn’t matter how much you spend: if it makes you look better than anything or anyone else, then the cost is worth it.
But is it?
With the fashion world as it is today, the odds are that our clothes will be out of fashion in a few months, or even weeks. Then we find ourselves back at the beginning again.
I buy one or two key items in each season which will work with anything and which can be adapted to any season, that way I spend less money but feel comfortable in the clothes which I picked carefully.
Fashion is like a story: you pick out the most important bits which are useful to you:
- In fashion, you can pick a leather jacket which will work with most outfits, maybe in black or brown.
- In fiction, from Cinderella, you can pick out the message in the story: If you pretend to be something you’re not, it will inevitably backfire on you, so being yourself is usually the best thing to do, if you’re lucky, you might be appreciated for that.
Fashion magazines are beautiful stories about that tiny percentage of people who look “perfect” but who have their own flaws underneath the image which they portray.
Life is too short to worry about fully conforming to the standards set by the fashion industry – be healthy and happy the way you are.
Reality is more beautiful than make-believe.