Why is the fashion industry so vain?

Why is the fashion industry so vain? Jul, 31 2023

The Iridescent Peacock in the Room

Without a doubt, the fashion industry is one of the most prominent complexes of our generation. With its glitz and glamour it's like the iridescent peacock strutting its stuff. Yet, beneath the ostentatious veneer of designer labels and haute couture, lies a beast we all play a part in feeding – Vanity. Now, don't get me wrong, I can appreciate a well-tailored suit or the artistry in a staggeringly high pair of stilettos as much as the next person, but where is the line drawn between appreciation and obsession?

Peel back the layers of impossibly thin models or that pulsating bass-heavy soundtrack at the latest Paris Fashion Week showcase, and you'll find an industry with an insatiable appetite for greater aesthetics. It's vanity, the relentless pursuit of external beauty. But, why this obsession? Why this incessant preoccupation with "looking good?" It's a question that has plagued my mind, causing many a restless night on my king-sized bed.

Treading the Fine Line Between Artistry and Excess

The fashion industry, although evidently self-absorbed in its own fantastical world of glamour, also brings artistry to the forefront. It's a medium where designers exhibit creativity and innovation; and it's rather fascinating. It's almost like watching Milo chase his tail, amusing yet somewhat tiring after a while. However, when does this creative stewardship cross the line to self-obsession?

Fashion has long moved on from being just an everyday necessity. The practicality of clothing has made way for artistic expression, identity, and status symbolism. It's no longer about covering your back (quite literally), but a statement of who you are and what you stand for. Similarly, in the fashion industry, it's not just about creating and selling clothing, but projecting an image of perfection—essentially, vanity on display.

Vanity Fair: The Influence of Media and Pop Culture

We don't live in a vacuum, and our perceptions are influenced by what's around us. Advertising, media, pop culture—these have all played a crucial role in shaping our obsession with fashion, both as consumers and as industry players. Let me be clear---this isn't a finger-pointing session, no more than it is when Pixie somehow finds a way to knock over her water bowl. It's just the nature of the beast, I'm afraid.

Fashion, in many ways, is sold as lifestyle packages—glimpses of how you could potentially live, if only you wore that brand or style. The media has ensured that the fashion industry remains at the forefront, carefully weaving narratives of glamour and sophistication around it, until what you have is an extremely alluring image that consumers cannot resist.

Chasing the Pefection Dragon: The Impact on Mental Health

Looking good feels good, there's no denying that. After all, who isn't a tad bit happier with themselves when they step out of the house donning their new pair of kicks? But when the pursuit of looking good turns into an obsessive chase of unreachable ideal beauty, it engages a whole new realm—mental health.

Studies have shown a correlation between exposure to these unrealistic beauty standards and mental health issues, including body dysmorphia, eating disorders, and low self-esteem. It's like striving to attain the speed of a sprinter while you're riding a snail. The fashion industry—fed by our own vanity—has set the bar so high, it's virtually impossible to reach.

So, What's Next?: Toward a More Humane Fashion Industry

Now, you might wonder what's next. Are we forever doomed to this spiral of vanity and unreachable beauty standards? The answer is, thankfully, no. Many a times, Imogen and I end up discussing how the industry is showing a shift from its previous refusal to address these issues.

Slowly but surely, there are small changes occurring. From embracing a more inclusive size range, promoting body positivity, to dismantling unrealistic beauty standards, the industry is inching towards a more humane outlook. It's a small step, yes. But as they say, a tiny paddle can set a huge wave in motion. It's time we started celebrating the diversity and uniqueness each of us bring to the table. After all, wouldn't it be boring if Pixie looked just like every other cat out there? It's her uniqueness that makes her a charm.

In conclusion, whether we like it or not, vanity is integral to the fashion industry. However, recognizing its existence is the first step towards change. We may be feeding the beast now, but that's not to say we can't starve it in the future. It's about balance, a harmonious blend of looking good and feeling good about who you are, individually. It's a journey, and one I invite you all to take with me.