Looking good and being pretty has always been something that many a woman has aspired to achieve in their lives. Some women are blessed with the fact that they are naturally beautiful; which provides them with a leg up, so to speak, in the fashion world. However for those of us a bit on the plain side, that extra mile may be required to make that statement, to be remembered, to be the hit of the party. Daily these women are practically killing themselves, all in the pursuit of being fashionable.
So much importance is placed on people, both men and women, staying hip and in style that it is an important part to living in society. Women especially are taken in by this and go out of their way, and beyond what would be deemed sensible, to be in fashion. Starving themselves to fit into a dress that stops being made at a certain size because fashion designers only want certain people wearing their clothes; it seems like you need to be stick or less to fit into the booming fashion world, which is why you get women saying things like ‘I will eat tomorrow. What’s a missed meal here or there compared to how amazing I will look in that dress?’, because somewhere in our history fashion became more important than eating. You can only imagine if our cavemen ancestors thought, while trying to survive the bitter cold and giant predators, that their descendants would forgo food for the sake of fashion. There was no such thing as fashion, only survival, and they would surely think that women of today were a bit out of their minds.
Does this make sense? No, not really, but do a lot of women both young and old say this as they look in a mirror? Probably more than one would think. Though efforts have been made to change this viewpoint and broaden the horizon of the fashion world, the pressure is still out there for women to try and make the unrealistic standard. Supermodels, pop stars and movie stars, are the idols and role models who, subconsciously, those of the female persuasion compare themselves to. These women are of a beauty that is most certainly hard to obtain, yet many women try despite this fact.
Still it is funny how when the term ‘fashion victim’ is used that people think it is in reference to someone who is out of fashion. Someone who is wearing last season’s hit or whose outfit is just utterly atrocious. But the truth of it is that it goes both ways and perhaps it should be changed to state that they are not exactly a victim of fashion but a slave to fashion; slave to the trends and fads, a slave to the ideals and the drive to be like everyone else. Being different to everyone else, singled out and not like your peers, is certainly a reason to go above and beyond what would be considered the norm. It is a part of the human condition, actually is a matter of the animal condition as a whole, to fit in. In the wild when an animal is different from the herd, different from the pack, it’s singled out by the others. Difference in the animal kingdom is a sign of genetic defect or flaw; so perhaps being a fashion defect or victim is the same for the human species? It’s not hard to see how this could compel women to do whatever it took to not be the outcast. On a genetic level we are predisposed to this behavior, so it is only fitting for us to wish to satisfy this need.
So not eating, not drinking, dieting, exercising, and waiting in line for hours on hours to get into a one day only sale; women in a store on a major sale day are akin to any predator out hunting and stalking their prey, only in this case the prey happens to be a new pair of Prada boots. As committed as any hunter a woman will defend her ‘kill’ with all she has, even getting a bit violent with another hunter. A black eye, some bruised ribs, torn and ripped clothing and even the possibility of a police record seems to be more than worth the price of having that latest look and being able to go into work the next day looking like you just stepped off the runway.
The lengths that women go through can be rather ridiculous and can be summed up with a summary of a skit I saw on Saturday Night Live: Two women were competing for whoever had the smallest hat, one kept outdoing the other and getting praise for being so hip and fashionable, leaving the other angrily eating bread. Back and forth they went until the woman who was constantly being outdone finally beat the other woman and was trying to gain the praise from her peers, who were all in tears. They told the woman that their other friend had died in a car accident that morning and, regardless, she was not going to be the most fashionable because no one could outdo the now dead friend; just when the one woman thought that her troubles were finally over, the supposed dead friend comes strolling in and promptly states that faking your own death was the latest trend in fashion.