The famous quote by John Lennon seems rather apt, "Don't hate what you don't understand''. Even though we're talking about something a lot less important than world peace, it does seem to connect with the responses I get on a seemingly regular basis about my aims as a career when I leave school.
So many people who know so little about the industry simply believe it is this vain world that is simply in existence because people care too much about their appearance, or what people think of them. It's an argument only few fashion lovers answer, or even care to think about. Personally, an argument I am only too tired of answering.
Recently I was at Girls Brigade (a somewhat similar club to Girl Guides) and I was asked by my leader about what I wanted to do when I was older. I replied something along the lines of "In the fashion industry, somewhere". I'm not too sure if it was my lack of specification when answering, or if it was the question itself that chucked a whirlwind of questions to her lips, which did eventually seem like a complete pick at me. ''Why do you want to do that?", "That's a horrid industry" are just a few of the things I got thrown in a sarcastic voice, and I must admit, I did come home that night feeling rather deflated.
I know that the instance above is just one example of people's misconceptions of the fashion industry as a whole. Branding us all as following sheep or fish simply going with the flow. A person with enough designer gear to dress an army, or a girl so caught up on her looks and appearance, that fashion has only become a vain obsession to keep up with trends, than a genuine fascination with the thought, aesthetic and process of how clothes are made, bought and worn.
Designers and big bloggers and often said that they are often asked ''Don't you think you could be doing something more important with you life?''. Personally, this question angers me more than the rest. Of course, the answer is yes. Yes. We could be out there trying to cure cancer, or building homes for the poor, or teaching orphans and just be generally helping society in a more obvious way. But couldn't everyone? An architect for example could be, but isn't, labelled vain simply because he is designing houses, which of course would be to appeal to human desire. It's petty, I realise, but something that is so often chucked at fashion lovers as oppose to every other human being living in a first or second world country.
To get to the actual question, is or when is fashion vain? I must now confess that parts of it is. The whole feud about size 0 models and the racism. That I understandably label vain, but it seems that to most people, that is the one of the only things they see in fashion, and simply don't want to look much beyond. I must add I am talking about fashion as one whole. Thus including high-street shops, the catwalks, the fashion weeks, the factories, the journalism, and all that fashion entails. Music is something many, if not, all people enjoy in one form or another. Yet people don't pick on people with musical aspirations, simply because everyone loves music. I understand not everyone loves fashion or clothes, yet everyone wears it, and just doesn't realise that the thing they are wearing now has been thought about, designed, then manufactured, all within the fashion industry, and all by fashion designers and creative people.
This whole argument angers me, simply because people don't realise the enormity and the importance of fashion in society, and in the economy. So many of the world's government rave about the lack of awareness and resources to recycle. They don't realise that the fashion industry is one of the only industries that are working very hard to make more green, eco-friendly, recycled, bio-degradable fabrics to help with the over exhaustion of textile factories. There are many charities within the fashion world who raise money at events such as fashion week to go towards communities, and some of which go towards poor workers in fabric factories. Not all of it vain, as many may think.
Now I must speak for myself. I love fashion for what it is. When I look online at clothes, I'm more fascinated with it, as oppose to wanting it now to enhance other people's views on me. I don't want to grow up and design clothes to make people show off and look good, although this is part of it, that's not its entirety. I want to grow up and take in as much as I can about such a creative, versatile and interesting thing such as fashion, that is always in society, just not everyone sees.
I know that a fashion hater won't be reading this. But, if you have ever found yourself in a similar situation or state-of-mind, I hope this rant has become helpful. To give an answer to the initial question, Is and when is fashion vain?, my answer is; when the rest of the world is vain, too.