Swag YOU out

Posted on May 15, 2012

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Fashion is supposed to be a form of expression, a way to showcase our personalities without saying anything, a way to show the world who we are , what makes us …us, how we differ and what gives us our unique spark, but how often is that really the case? As young people growing up in a modern society we are often told to express ourselves and do what makes us happy, but is that really so, when it can be said that society itself is what’s pushing us to conform.

Most of us follow trends that we see put out there by celebrities, fashion designers and peers. It seems we have lost our sense of originality and individuality and our society is slowly turning into clones. Teenagers are hit the hardest with this “pandemic”: they are in a stage in their life where they are still discovering who they are (at least who they think they are), they look everywhere and anywhere for inspiration, but that desperate search for inspiration eventually leads to conformity, due to the feeling of complete emptiness. This conformity is due largely to the new found importance of acceptance within society and friends prompting people to go outside of them selves and the fear of rejection. This situation is seen among Chicago youth, who feel the impact of living in a big city causing them to feel like they CAN NOT develop a sense of individuality and have no choice but to blend in with the general population.

Over the last few years, Chicago teens have adopted certain subcultures such as the hipster, indie-rock and modern hip-hop. Most teens embrace the fashion aspect of these subcultures with such intensity but except from the fashion how much more of the culture can they say they relate to, Do they take into context the culture, beliefs and ideology of these certain subcultures? Most teens who label themselves as hipsters do not really understand the definition of the word. The word hipster defines a subculture of men and women typically in their 20’s and 30’s that value independent thinking, counter-culture, progressive politics, an appreciation almost devotion to art, reformed creativity, intelligence, and witty banter.If you were to compare this definition to what you actually see among teenage hipsters would you actually say they valued independent thinking, counter-culture, progressive politics, a deep appreciation of art, reformed creativity, intelligence, and witty banter?

Fashion among young people is forever changing to fit the society of that time, going from grunge to preppy to hipster. We are so much in tune with the wants and needs of society and ever-changing fashion, that a majority of us do not know what style (if we had to choose one) would categorize us. It’s starting to seem that we just jump from one fashion movement to the other to fill the void of getting left behind. It can be said that the effort from young people to want to be different and stand out is not longer given; they are starting to feel like there is no point, that they would still go unnoticed and that shouldn’t be the case.

Our teenage years are suppose to be daring and fun: we should not feel confined to the boundaries of fashion, but to expand them to fit who we are.

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