In the spirit of "Back to School", lets talk about the fashion epidemic regarding "Bullying". Whether you are in school now, have a kid, or work, fashion bullying is everywhere, and it some how seems acceptable?
Making fun of what someone is wearing, starts as soon as we can speak, and seems to show no signs of stopping. Adults are the prime example of fashion bullying and children quickly mimic their beliefs and ways. Rather than enforcing fashion as a way to discover who we are, it is often taught as a weapon of status and power.
In 2013, a Utah woman made headlines for forcing her 11 year old step daughter to pick and wear the ugliest clothes from a thrift store, after she was caught bullying a classmate for her ugly clothes. Her goal was to teach her step daughter empathy, by having her literally live a day in her ugly shoes.
Why does this not work?
Although her mother had good intentions, she is still in many ways, looking down at people who shop at thrift stores. Making a "punishment, out of someones life, is not empathetic but rather arrogant. There is nothing wrong with shopping at thrift stores, and I cannot emphasize enough how amazing they really are! (Remind me to start a series dedicating all things thrift store.) She is emphasizing "clothes" as the problem, when in reality bullying is an issue far deeper than what you wear.
The issue is this :She, like most parents in our society, teach the dangerous and quite mistaken Fashion Algorithm:
(Money + Clothes = Popularity ( Success) = Money)
Notice the emphasis is always circling money?
People who pick on others for whatever reason, have misplaced self worth by feeding off the flaws of others. It has nothing to do with the best clothes or the worst, but everything to do with wanting to be somebody.
Would it not have been more effective to teach her daughter lessons through a non-materialistic platform? Take her to volunteer at a shelter, or donate her clothes to a thrift store. Let her find her place in the world without the "stuff" and the joy that giving can bring. Practice positive changes to yield positive results.
The Algorithm of Fashion in the future should be:
( Soul +Creativity+ Clothes= Identity, Confidence, and Empathy = A Better World)
Money is not the leading factor of fashion, and with creativity one can even rock paper waste as "Haute Couture".
Never let fashion lead you. It is you that creates it within your own inner style.
Fashion needs you. It is not you that needs it.