Fashion, the daily norm that never fails to strike some sort of controversy, something that can be so astonishing and intricate while at the same time so straightforward. Clothing is not just showing people who you are, it’s a reflection of yourself and how you view yourself. It has been a world full of creativity and intense passion, but social media is changing this tremendously.
Before social media took over, the only way to view the latest trend and learn what was considered “in” was to open up the new edition of Vogue and make a visual examination of what brands were popping. What if you couldn’t afford that attire? Make your own or use your creativity to elevate your look. Cities would have different trends due to the fact that they weren’t seeing what everyone else was wearing. For instance, a New Yorker couldn’t find out what the trend was in LA because nothing was connecting them to each other. Now, if you have the luxury of possessing social media accounts, you can see what people all around the globe are wearing.
I really started to notice this after an app by the name of TikTok started to blow up. TikTok is a lively app full of dancing, comedy, and fashion. It’s a place where people can explore their identity and figure out what they’re genuinely into. However, like other social media platforms, TikTok encourages its users to think and like similar things. Before social media, people wanted to fit in, and if you looked like everyone else you were considered cool and acceptable. Now, everyone wants to be different, and being “basic” is frowned upon. Yet what goes unnoticed is what was seen as “alternative” before is turning into a different form of normal. It’s almost like we don’t dress for ourselves anymore, we dress for other people. That creativity that was once evident in fashion is being wiped out by getting to see what everyone else is wearing.
What would happen to fashion if we got rid of social media? How crazy would that be? People might start to dress according to what their city views as cool, then go traveling and be stunned at what people in another city are wearing. There would be a sense of discomfort and feeling out of place. That’s the issue; everyone has gotten too comfortable in fashion. Why do we think that one thing looks good but another doesn’t? Who told us that wearing a double animal print was ugly? There is so much peer pressure and doubt in self-presentation. TikTok started as a place for people to express their individuality and creativity, but it’s transmuted teen fashion to the point where people diss the “Hypebeast” look and even skinny jeans. The old creativity that streetwear fashion once had has turned into a single lookbook of the same outfits.
We look at the “influencers” all over social media and think, “I need that,” or, “Why can’t I look like that?” This is not only harmful to individuals; it’s also harming our collective creativity and passion. Who is going to be the person to break out of this vicious cycle and take the risk to do something completely out of the ordinary? We need more of those people.
Social media has integrated people’s uniqueness and somehow transformed it into one style. Before, there were different styles everywhere, and a New Yorker would have no idea what teen in Kentucky was wearing. Now we can figure that out by a quick search, which is fascinating, but also terrifying. Next time you’re shopping for clothes, think to yourself, “Am I buying this because I love it, or because someone else loves it?”