You don't have to be obsessed with social media to come across reels of clothing 'hauls' and 'must buys'. It looks good but is not nearly an economical lifestyle, and the worst part is it makes the viewers think that's the only way to look cool or feel satisfied with life. When you have grown up in a middle-class Indian family, saving for tomorrow, not wasting resources, hand me down clothes is the norm. Is a part of you conflicted whether to hop on to such trends or stay with your middle-class lens?
Capitalism has many ways to sweep into your life and currently, one of the major areas is social media. We are undeniably obsessed with our phone screens and believe what is shown there as the only acceptable way of life. Without even trying, we are blinded by the influence of social media to buy things without thinking much.
Social Media Influences Our Fashion Choices
When I was a child, asking for something from my parents included a lot of thinking, examining and requesting. My parents did their best to provide us with all the necessities and teach us that we can be happy with the little things. Not being preachy here, but honestly, we were so much happier with that one toy or a pencil box for months together compared to the very expensive things we buy today and forget to bat an eye for months after purchase. A flip side of riding on trends is the junk we create for ourselves. The concept of hand me down has been done away with.
The widespread scenario shown in several films of how a middle-class house looks like and what the characters wear, we are used to repurposing plastic bags, containers, clothes and everything else. This also points out the hypocrisy of the current day, where we are talking about sustainability to save the earth by asking people to buy certain products under the category of "recycled" and "preloved". The intention might be good but encouraging people to buy more kills the point, right?
Coming back to social media, the trend of making reels out of your wardrobe is one in-thing. Being an influencer is a full-time job now, and it is part of showcasing and promoting brands and a particular lifestyle. But the problem lies when we mistake their job to be a reality and emulate it because it's not normal to buy five pairs of clothes just because the season has changed.
The idea of not repeating clothes is another fad. Repeating clothes would destroy the 'aesthetic' or not match the fictitious near-to-perfect life they pretend to have online. Repeating clothes is the most basic habit for any normal human being unless they are a celebrity whose public appearances and fashion are part of the news cycle. It was still limited to occasional posts but now, with the introduction of video content and the influencers recommending new clothes for everyday life is a popular trend. The audiences have ended up thinking that it's necessary to need new clothes for their 24hrs lasting story updates too.
Through the lens of my middle-class upbringing and current life, this trend makes me feel dissatisfied with life and wish for a future when I can buy an infinite number of clothes. I also end up falling into this trap and feeling guilty for spending the money later. My parents and I realised that we had bought more clothes in the last couple of years compared to when social media impacted our daily lives.
Th views expressed are the author's own.
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