The actual word fashion can be typically described as a popular style or practice and is more commonly associated with clothing and apparel. If used in a loose context, the word will simply reference anything that is considered to be in the current trend or demand. If you look at a broad cross-cultural meaning of the word, you will notice that it will change dramatically from region to region as many people have adopted their own perspective of what the word is referring to. However, the general consensus is that it will be more commonly recognized with the minority changes in culture here in the western world.
There are many influential factors which have a direct effect on the many clothing styles and fashions. Below are some I have recognized as important.
It has been recognized that some people became overly involved and obsessed with celebrities and now, when they have been to see a professional, they could have diagnosed with CWS (Celebrity Worship Syndrome). Due to the massive amounts of exposure that some celebrities gain, more 'susceptible' and 'vulnerable' people are taken in and manipulated – which is why fans can become so obsessive.
Those wanting to be like celebrities take their dress sense very seriously. Starting to believe everything their idol wears is something special, a fan with this syndrome will swiftly follow suit. When you consider popular celebrities who have a large fan base, this syndrome is exaggerated over a large-scale, providing enough people to start off a fashion trend.
There are no right or wrong answers with what could be a fashion and what could not – these obsessive's are not interested in how unpractical or ridiculous the items of clothing are, they simply have a desire to copy. Once this fan base starts showing off the new clothes that they are wearing it then affects the people around them as more and more people wish to stay within the 'loop' as they feel they are missing out – a fashion is then born.
Peer Pressure in Fashion
Often with different fashions, people begin to feel the pressure of not being 'in the loop' and this leaves them vulnerable and open to criticism. In most cases you will find that many of these people do not have the confidence to stick up for themselves once this starts, so will simply take the easy route by opting to wear the 'on-trend' clothing – even if they do not feel comfortable or like it. As there is a lack of people who are strong and confident enough to be individual, more and more people feel the need to follow the herd – after all as a race we are very community orientated.
When it comes to the crunch, the clothing we choose to wear reflects personal preference. If items are not in the latest fashion, should this really matter?
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Martyn L Worzel