Is Fashion Shallow?

At a glance, the question seems stupid. Of course fashion is shallow- it is the most shallow thing around. An industry based solely on how you look, where skinny is hot and fat is not, where all that really matters is looking good- it is ridiculous to suggest otherwise.

I've heard all sorts of comments about people who love fashion- made to feel guilty for loving something that's all about aesthetics, their work belittled as superficial. But dismissing a whole force of men and women working in the industry as shallow? Now, that's not really fair.

I fully understand the point of view of those whose life is centred around numbers, around law, around medicine. To someone who spends their day tackling vandals and gang-crime, a girl who spends hers fretting over which Mulberry bag to feature in the April issue is frivolous. And those who study for days on end in their prestigious Uni courses, how could that ever compare with the "trivial" work of a fashion stylist? I know that there are so many academic people in the country, and so many working for the services that are at the core of our lives, and I respect this entirely. This does not, however, make it okay for people to dismiss fashion as superficial.

It is not a necessity in the world, which is why so many brands are working on the sustainability of their products, but it is an escape and so uplifting. I am not suggesting that fashion should be at the centre of all our lives, or that more money should be spent on it, because we could essentially live without it. I just long for the day when people realise that fashion holds so much more weight than it is credited for.

Think about what your love in life is, what you want to achieve. You may want to help people in the world, you may be fascinated by science, you may just want to settle down. But, whatever you get from life, you will always want that little element of luxury and decadence- and what would that be without this "shallow" fashion industry? (apart from champagne and chocolate...)

I know first hand that fashion does a whole lot more for a person than it seems. Those days when I am confident and comfortable in what i'm wearing, it certainly puts a smile on my face. And nothing makes me happier than a compliment about my outfit or style. That's probably because i'm pretty obsessed, but other people get it too. You can tell when someone feels good about themselves, and it mostly stems from what they are wearing.

Sure, it can go the other way. The influence that fashion media has is ridiculous, with all the victims of the "why don't I look like that?..." thinking. The industry can have a dark side of controlled-anorexia and drug abuse, and this is concerning, but nothing is flawless.

The time and effort that industry professionals put into their work is astounding. You can't succeed in fashion without confidence, passion and intelligence, and there are so many talented people around making the British industry such a success. But i've heard people pass off fashion as "pointless" and have been called a "bimbo" for wanting to work in fashion... Eek. Intellectual snobbery can burden a lot of people determined to succeed, and it isn't fair.

The main point of this reflection, was to get across that people who love fashion are not vacuous or simple. It is a fascinating art that people love to experience. As much as I appreciate those who keep our society running, let's not forget the fashion industry. It deserves a much better reputation than it currently has!
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