Fashion magazines and websites have a worrying propensity to show us women who have been moulded into the image of a child. Catwalk models with child-like proportions are nothing new, but childish trends are leaking into high street fashion too. The fashion industry seems in a rush to keep us in a perpetual teenage state (in mind if not in body) for as long as possible, probably so we will continue to lust after and take part in the under-20 worshipping industry centred around what is cool, young and new. Clothes and props and attitudes reflect irresponsiblisity, coquettishness, innocence. We do not see strength, defiance, womanliness. We want big eyes and surprised faces and pretty dresses and baby pinks and ironic tomboys in childish dungarees. We want make up in primary colours and in packaging that looks like candy. Cases in point: what’s wrong with these images? Or is there nothing wrong?
These images are selling us a reality which many of us will only fail to adhere to. It is not often practical in real life to be super skinny, wear oversized cutesy clothes and walk around with an air of “I’m super hot cuz im ironically channelling my four year old self”. Maybe they reflect the general mood of today’s 20-somethings who never want to grow up. But if this is all we have to look up to and desire, then when will we ever leave adolescence?
I looked at a few pages of some ASOS magazines, from a while ago, and looked at words used to describe trends and clothing; words used to make us want things. Phrases such as “keep it girlie”, “accessorize in sweetie shades” and just general synonyms for ‘cute’ were used in conjunction with different looks. The magazine is indirectly suggesting that we should covet these qualities, whether it means to or not.
And, you better believe it’s not just the fashion industry doing this. Advertisers too want to appeal to the child in us to get us to buy, but in the process are they damaging our perceptions of who we are as women? Do we want this shit, or are they making us think we want it? IDK
But then again…everything’s a phase, right? Maybe in 5 years we’ll have left this stuff behind…what do you think?