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Keeping Up Appearances: A Look At How Fashion Trends Negatively Influence Consumers

1786 words - 8 pages

“Keeping up Appearances: A Look at How Fashion Trends Negatively Influence Consumers”

Mokokoma Mokhanona, a sociologist and an activist, once stated, “Expensive clothing is a poor man’s attempt to appear prosperous” (GoodReads.com). Many people today, dress to impress. Following trends and copying other people’s style of dress has become an open window for many people to feel excepted and important. The problem is that these people, aspiring to be important to others, are hurting themselves by trying to impress others. According to Soloman and Rabolt, “Fashion is a form collective behavior, or a wave of social conformity (Mandhachitara 23).” As people become accustomed to following behind people in high ranks that establish trends, they lose themselves and become conformed to society. They lose their own identities because they are not keeping up with their appearances to satisfy themselves. Author Hemphill, stated in an article that, “Consumers have a taste for trends—that is, for goods that enable them to move in step with other people (Hemphill 9).” Essentially, what Hemphill is stating is that people are now making choices on what they want to wear based on what celebrities and popular people wear. Peoples choices are not their own, their choices of attire are based on the styles of trendsetters. The motivation for the styles and trends today are often influenced by celebrities and the media. Every outfit put together by an individual is based off of an original idea of someone before them. This could be considered an imitation instead of a new creation. People are often using fashion to shape identities, to gain social status, and to build their confidence.

Many people use fashion as a way to shape their identity, whether it is gender identity or sexual identity. Both identities refer to how one thinks of a person, however, they both have different meanings. Gender identity refers to the way someone views their gender, whether they see themselves as male or female. Sexual identity refers to the way someone views their sexuality. In the article, Fashion and Identity, it states that “Fashion becomes inextricably implicated in constructions and reconstructions of identity how we represent the contradictions and ourselves in our everyday lives” (Kaiser). Fashion is a key objective in shaping an identity. Fashion has become the way to understanding who a person is, what type of person they are, and what they love about themselves. This also shows you who they associate themselves with. People are dressing according to the change displayed in media. When fashion trends changes according to outside influences, it alters the way people perceive someone’s personality and character. This causes many individuals to become uncertain about who they truly are and who people think they are.

Clothing helps people to differentiate between each other while also conforming to group customs. However people are now dressing so much alike that there are...

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