handy girl

Changing tires, changing diapers and changing minds all over town...

Saturday

disfashionate?

many humans are conditioned to label and categorize themselves and other humans. it really seems quite silly to think that visual appearance and body type matter more that individuality and freedom of expression. the three m's (media, marketing, and money) are working very hard together to manipulate our judgement and perception so that our desire to fit in leads us towards habitual consumerism and away from expressing who we really are. fashion means, literally, to change and flow and is a reflection of the inner self. if we are all individuals, it makes sense that we would all express ourselves differently, but the fashion industry wants us to be the same, and they want to tell us exactly what that sameness should be. they want to tell us what is beautiful, yet scores and scores of crappy rags line the windows of store after store in strip mall after strip mall, from the north, south, east and west, both far and wide, high and low, and this, understandably, leaves some people feeling disfashionate.
on every corner, we are given an impossible ideal of what we should look like, through what seems to be a form of brainwashing. we are told what to eat and what to wear, by those who want us to consume their products, idioms, or lifestyle suggestions. we are exposed to huge health, fitness, cosmetic and pharmaceutical marketplaces, which offer ways to alter our bodies and our minds. we are completely surrounded by packaged and processed foods that contribute to the rise in heart disease and obesity, and then reeled in with products and services that promise to cure all. we are not encouraged to express our individuality or to accept others as they are, without judgemental cataloguing.
our eyes are trained to see a businessman in a suit, a bride in a wedding dress, a supermodel in swimwear, or a travelling salesman in a plaid sports coat and a bow-tie. the elderly surrender to what’s thrown at them, men do not wear skirts, lace or frills, and women are groomed, plucked, painted, preened and adorned. teenagers momentarily break through the limitations and confines of mainstream fashion until they ultimately graduate into adulthood, while babies and young children are decorated and festooned with the cutest sweetness of the day. there is an order to things in mainstream society, a method of categorization that must be maintained so that people will always know where they stand. it's like body coverings become fashion when they are used as a means of distinguishing between the ranks of social order.
ahhhh, but a subculture exists that displays little consideration for conventional standards, and although its presence transcends the archetypal and definitive principles of fashion by its very nature of being unique and individual, society still finds a brand name for it. this subculture is anti-fashion. it’s the nonconforming individualist, the rebel, the street kid, the exhibitionist and the free spirit. it’s the artist, the bad boy, the eccentric, the maverick and the oddball. as a quirky creature dances on the outskirts of the peripheral mainstream vision, anti-fashion fleetingly grabs attention like a circus sideshow. ironically, many of those who influence the direction of mainstream fashion, draw their inspiration directly from the anti-fashion subculture, suggesting that mainstream society unknowingly supports the very thing it views as a deviation.
anti-fashionists are everywhere. sometimes they can be spotted in cafes at the end of the block. sometimes, high end designers drive by and see them. then, the designers go back to their studios and make clothes out of safety pins. people who have lots of money go into stores and buy clothes made out of safety pins. by then, anti-fashionists are strolling down anti-fashion avenue in cut-off military pants and high end designers drive by and see them. then, the designers go back to their studios and make cut off military pants and the cycle continues, and so it goes...
i wonder what would happen if we all took a walk down anti-fashion avenue wearing clown shoes and a foam nose, or dressed as a nun, or all dolled up in a brand spanking new birthday suit...

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