If you try to ask many people who they want to look like, what fashion they follow, most of them will tell you that they are themselves, authentic, unique and inimitable. But if you try to go deeper to ask a more precise question, such as defining your identity, many of them already no longer know how to answer you. If you go even further, that is, you try to ask what are the actions that define their uniqueness and their personal growth, the number of those who will be able to answer you is lowered even more drastically.
What exactly is a fashion?
The term fashion indicates a collective behavior, a lifestyle. It can be related to clothing but also to all other aspects and habits of our life. In fact, the term fashion becomes more and more ambiguous when we move to the level of thought, actions and results we want to achieve. Fashion often serves to give answers to questions that can also become disturbing and revise uncomfortable inner truths. What exactly is a fashion for? They serve to give the answers to the various pieces of the puzzle that make up our identity.
The word fashion derives from the Latin modus, which has several meanings: norm, rule, time, modality, tone, moderation, manner … In past centuries, fashion was a privilege reserved for the wealthiest classes. To dress in a certain way, to have certain shoes or certain clothes made of precious fabrics, was impossible for the poorest people. Over time, after prehistoric times, the dress took on the meaning of belonging to a specific social, religious, political or military class. The psychological aspect linked to fashion and that of masking: the dress can serve to hide parts of one’s personality that you do not want to make known or to highlight certain aspects that we want to give importance to.
There are those who tell you how you should dress, how you should wear make-up, what you should eat, what color you should buy shoes, where to go on vacation. Someone else shows you what’s the latest in movies and TV series. There are companies, mainstream media, influencers ready to tell you exactly what the fads of the moment you absolutely must follow, and they cover all aspects of your life, in every sector. If you don’t follow the latest fashions you will become the last in line, you will be excluded.
Someone even goes so far as to tell you how to behave and what to say: there are talk shows, social networks, successful YouTubers. If you talk and behave as they say then you are accepted by society. Everyone says, “Wow, you’re a cool person! You’re cool!” The things you say are socially acceptable and you feel fulfilled. But how long does a fashion, a lifestyle proposed with the means of propaganda last?
Fashions change quickly
Suddenly that trendy dress you bought, that kind of makeup, that shoe color doesn’t work anymore. The fashion of the 80s was completely different from that of the 90s. The winter fashion of 2021 is different from that of the winter of 2022. You have to keep up with the times. You need to take another walk in the mall and update the wardrobe. There is a new trendy haircut, a new look. But if it were limited to this, it would be just a kind of method that works for companies that want to exploit fads to keep up the turnover every year.
But the biggest problem is that even the ways of thinking, speaking and being proposed by fashion change rapidly over the time of a season. And then you really get confused. I said that thing, I lived in that kind of life because it was fashionable. But the new fashion of the moment tells me that now it is no longer worth anything.
Your mind and your spirit begin to get confused. What is really in fashion right now? How should I dress, what should I say, how should I live? What is the trendy lifestyle? But if there was a unique lifestyle, if there was a right and definitive fashion, companies would not increase their turnover every season, the mainstream media would not keep you glued to your seat. Fashions change rapidly and you have to keep yourself constantly updated.
What’s in fashion in 2021? Don’t you know the latest movies and emerging stars? Haven’t you ever watched the streaming TV series that millions of people are talking about? Don’t you know the new film directors awarded at the prestigious Planet Earth Festivals? You are left behind, far behind, you have to update yourself, compare yourself with others who are all talking about the latest fashion. If millions of people are all talking about the same things there will be a reason: it means that those fashions are important, they are the latest news not to be missed.
What is a new fashion really for?
But what’s wrong with that? Why shouldn’t we believe in fashions? If I am a very insecure person and I need to have an influencer who even tells me how I should dress and what kind of underwear I should wear, following fashion can be good up to a certain point. But what are all these fashions proposed by the media, advertising, cinema and entertainment based on?
They are based on a very simple phenomenon, that of inner emptiness. Having an inner emptiness can be very unpleasant and is an experience that must be eliminated. The companies that produce the goods know this need very well, and they know that it happens on a spiritual level. The matter is just a protest: fashion shoes are this type and this color but they could be completely different, and in a few weeks they will be different. But the companies actually offer a solution to a spiritual problem. With the feeling that this solution works, we remain faithful consumers of their products.
So let’s fill the existential void with fashions. You are dissatisfied, you feel frustrated, then you give yourself a gift: a new haircut, a new pair of trendy glasses, a subscription to the cool channel where there are films and series that everyone is already talking about. Do you have access to the internet and that special channel where everything they talk about today is? Then you’re okay, that inner emptiness can’t bother you anymore for now.
However, as was the case when we were children, that toy we liked so much after a few weeks we already don’t like it anymore, and we want a new toy. It takes a new car, a new dress, with which many feel satisfied for a few more weeks, and the carousel can continue from one fashion to the next for a lifetime. There are so many new things to discover, to buy, so many trendy toys: we can be distracted, have fun, and constantly fill our inner emptiness.
Living out of fashion
For many, following trends is extremely important. But some people don’t care about this fashionable way of life. They prefer to dedicate themselves to discovering and appreciating their own qualities as a human being, discovering all their potential. And therefore they do not follow trends and do not have the winning models that tell them how to live what to do? What are their points of reference?
Their point of reference is themselves. They feel comfortable even without wearing the fashionable dress, without the car that gives them a certain social status. And not because they are poor and cannot afford it. Whoever has himself as a model does not feel poor, because he is aware of his own great wealth. He walks a path in search of his personal truth. Following trends means jumping from one point to another, from one opinion to another, without reaching any goal.
Those who are not influenced by fashion are satisfied with themselves, with their characteristics and with the world around them. He has his own precise scale of values and knows the reasons that make him get out of bed every morning. He doesn’t need the new fashion song on the radio or the cultural debate of the mainstream media to experience new emotions. Everything that is an end in itself has no interest in him, what interests him is to arrive at sensible conclusions. The person impervious to fashion places himself at the center of his universe, he does not get lost in the galaxy of new products of the new fashion. Just think about his real interests that lead him where he cares.
Seeking your center
So the first step is to recognize your potential. Point 2 is to stop being a satellite, to put yourself at the center of your universe. Step 3: Search within yourself and find meaning there. Step 4: stay focused on the result you want to achieve and on their personal growth. Mainstream TV and movies consider you an idiot: every 10 seconds they insert a scene change, a special effect to keep your attention alive.
They consider you a being who has an autonomy of attention of 10 or 20 seconds at the most. Those who do not follow fashions, those who think for themselves and have established their real interests have infinite attention: in what looks, listens and lives there is attention to new knowledge and a valuable result. It is not a pinball ball bouncing from one fashion to another, from one special effect to another. Special effects that assume you’re a bit of an idiot.
Fashions are ephemeral and leave no trace because they are not bearers of real value. They are entertainment, they serve to distract millions of people, fill their emptiness and take them away from the real goal: to find their center. What you could take and make yours forever has been replaced by ephemeral proposals that over time have left you with nothing in hand, have magnified that emptiness you try to hide. What you need instead is a stable prospect of long-term growth and wealth, a permanent center of gravity that no fashion can give you.
Conclusion: you are the one who creates your fashion
So get out of the carousel of lights that confuses you every day, from the continuous proposals of new fashion purchases, from those who tell you watch this show, watch this film, and it gives you a special effect every 10 seconds to keep you glued to your chair. All this is a great illusion that makes you sink into the inner emptiness. Instead, recognize who you are, what you really care about, and how you can use those interests creatively and constructively. At that point you become able to follow the only fashion that matters: the one that is born within yourself, never ends and leads you to great results.
Here are 3 films to reflect on fashion and lifestyles that can directly or indirectly affect our life.
The holy mountain
Some of the so-called masters of the world, the holders of economic power that the director Alejandro Jodorowsky presents to us in his film The holy mountain are creators of fashions. In his stunning, original and bold description of those who manage this power and how they affect the masses is one of the most powerful visual representations of 1970s cinema.
A powerful documentary on how Western lifestyles, fashions and habits can destroy the planet and have serious repercussions on the climate and the environment. A film shot almost entirely with fascinating aerial shots in over 50 countries around the world.
Is it possible that our lives are manipulated by the products we see in advertisements, from the latest trends touted by the mainstream media to completely replacing our true selves? A film about the creeping and subtle power of social and cultural conditioning in the consumer society and mass homologation. Fashions and lifestyles that have entered us from the outside but that we are no longer able to recognize as something that is not our real self.