Over the years, social media has become an integral part of our cultural identity. With an ever-growing presence of fashion bloggers on Instagram, young people are getting into fashion more than ever. But is this necessarily for the better?
Fashion as a hobby is innocuous. After all, what could possibly be wrong with a teenager who is interested in fashion, and wishes to pursue a career in fashion? But with the emergence of social media, which has increasingly become a go-to platform for people who want to show off their latest purchases, the desire to show off their wealth is often misconstrued as a genuine interest in fashion. Also associated with this subgroup of youth is their misguided thinking that they can make it in the fashion industry and that this is somehow easy to achieve.
These days, every kid is heavily invested in fashion. As it turns out, fashion has become a parameter for someone’s coolness. If Joe can afford to buy a Supreme box logo tee, he is instantly cool. But when Daniel purchases a Gucci hoodie, he is cooler than Joe, having spent more of his parents’ money than Joe.
Social media platforms like Instagram enable and help to intensify this phenomenon because kids can easily see what cool people like A$AP Rocky are wearing. If they can get hold of the exact same Gucci belt that the rapper was spotted wearing, and all of the items from the Supreme x Louis Vuitton collaboration, they can take false comfort in the fact that they are cool.
Wearing expensive fashion items help conceal their insecurities, and satiate their need to be liked by other kids. Yes, they are spoiled, but the larger problem at play here is that these kids will never realize that their self-worth is not at all determined by what clothes they wear.
There is a huge misconception among a lot of young people that because they buy expensive clothes, and they have a respectable social media as per their outfit pictures, they are not only passionate about fashion but are so confident about their easy success in the industry. What these kids do not realise is that they are not passionate about fashion for what it is (an art form), but are rather attracted to wealth and the lifestyles of the rich.
They are not interested in individuality, creativity, or originality — the very essence of fashion — but rather the image that their expensive and hyped clothes evoke in people’s eyes. Fashion to them is a temporary remedy for their insecurities, not a source of genuine passion or enjoyment. Because this is the case, a lot of young people are wasting their time treading on a misguided career path that is doomed to crumble.
It is sad to see that so many of these young people think they can make a career from reselling clothes and selling poorly designed clothes where not a lot of thought was put in because the kids at their school would buy them. Making it in the fashion industry is incredibly difficult, especially as a designer, and one can’t help but think that social media is harbouring a generation of self-entitled youngsters who think anything can be easily achieved with little effort.
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Words: Joonsoo Yi
Hashtags: #socialmedia #fashion #instagram