Alex’s Thoughts: Avoiding The Toxic Fashion Industry

It is no surprise that the media influences what people wear; from social media platforms to celebrity clothes and designers, there are always influencers promoting what they believe is the current trend. These trends and styles are usually directed toward female teens and young adults since they are the ones who are easily influenced and who care the most about how they are represented. The fashion industry has become a monopolous part of society, practically dictating people on what they choose to wear. 

The biggest issue that is happening right now within the fashion industry is social media. The media continues to shame women across all platforms when it comes with the new trendy clothes that the media supports. Many women are shamed in some way for what they wear and how it makes them look. For teenage girls especially, they are shamed into thinking that no matter what they wear they can’t look good, which causes a lot of self-esteem and body confidence issues. 

Girls are wearing the same kind of clothes that girls with other body types were wearing, but were made to feel bad about their appearance for not conforming to age old body stereotypes. Women aren’t just being shamed for their clothes, but for their bodies as well. As the media continues to shame women into these old stereotypes, many trendy stores become just as toxic. 

Most teenagers enjoy shopping at trendy stores, specifically Brandy Melville, who do not make clothing suited for all body types. Instead, Brandy is known for their lack of diversity in models and size options. They promote “one size fits all,” but most of the sizes on their website come in a size small or extra small without an option to change the size. Their brand contains a lot of clothing that is currently in style, which leaves many who do not fit into a small or extra small unable to participate.  

As well, Lululemon, where their clothing prices range from hundreds of dollars, something that no teenager is able to afford. People can buy whatever brands they like and can spend as much as they want, but it’s difficult for some who can’t afford these things because they want to fit in. Having the little reflective Lululemon logo on the leg of your shorts or on the back of your shirt suddenly gives you more status on social media, giving you more likes and more positive comments. 

Between the pricing of clothes and the age old stereotypes that many brands are trying to fit into, there is a pattern of negativity that is happening within the media. But as well, there is a huge pressure to make sure you are constantly dressed in trendy clothing and trendy brands. The pressure of keeping up with the latest trends causes unnecessary stress for young adults, impacting their mental and physical well being. 

Everyone has a place in this world and everyone is different in their own way, so instead of telling everyone to follow the trends and fit in, or to shame people for what they are currently wearing, tell them to stand out. It is okay to not have the latest trends of fashion or keep up with the “coolest” brands, you will only ever feel the most comfortable in your own skin.