Propensity to Self Subversion The Fashion Model

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Propensity to Self Subversion The Fashion Model

Fashion shows are a remarkable sight. It is always wonderful to behold, with its weird materials, designs, hair and make-up, shoes and accessories. Nobody really wears them, though. It is merely a fashion statement. For one thing, it would take an acrobat to get into most of these clothes and accessories. And no one would be caught dead in those hairstyles outside the catwalk. Yet fashion shows continue to make the lifestyle headlines, supermodels still get paid a gazillion to wear these monstrosities and makeup and hair product sponsors fall over themselves throwing money at these shows. Why? One way to look at it is the propensity to self-subversion.

Fashion shows, at least most of them nowadays, are primarily about thinking out of accepted norms and conventions. Fashion houses guard their designs with ferocious will because once it becomes the norm, it is no longer fresh or different, and will cease to amaze. But it is a shallow definition of self-discovery because more and more they only strive to catch attention and not really to start a new trend. After the oohs and ahhs and the flash of cameras, it ceases to have any real meaning or significance to the people who design or wear them. There is no substance to it, like bubble wrap clothes. Bubble-wrap fashion will probably never be available on the racks because whoever wears them will be arrested for indecent exposure. Besides, the compulsion to pop those suckers will most certainly be almost too much to resist for most of us. Bang! Assault charges and try to explain that to the judge.

When Albert Hirschman wrote his book on political economic theory, it is doubtful whether he had fashion shows in mind, yet the applications are quite clear. The desire to change the way things are done is present in everyone but very few are brave enough to actually do something about it. It is like sheep following other sheep. If one sheep decides to go this way, then everybody follows. But it takes an exceptional sheep to go his own way and find the sweetest field of grass, and a really stupid one that goes over the cliff. But chances are the other sheep will follow either one, because that is what sheep do when they are in the flock. But ordinary sheep will just stay in the field until the shepherd comes to lead them away.

Conversely, people tend to follow what other people do, and where other people go. If a famous or popular person starts wearing bubble wrap in public and off the ramp, it will become all the rage and packaging companies will have a field day with it. The same is true of establishments. It does not matter if they charge an arm and a leg for soggy French fries and warm beer. If it is the fashion, people will follow. However, ordinary people tend to stay within the norm, doing what other people do with no regard or concession to their own inclinations.

Self-subversion may not lead to the catwalk, but it may lead to a more fulfilled person. While it is safe to stay with the flock, sometimes the need to follow a different path is overwhelming, and suppressing this need leads to discontent, restlessness or apathy. Each person is different, yet society expects conformity among its members. Some people are content with this path but for those who are not should gather the courage to strike out on their own. It may lead to disaster, or to fame, or just a different neighborhood. Whatever it is, exercising self-subversion will lead to knowledge and understanding. And maybe, who knows, it may lead to the catwalk after all.

Propensity to Self Subversion The Fashion Model Fashion shows are a remarkable sight. It is always wonderful to behold, with its weird materials, designs, hair and make-up, shoes and accessories. Nobody really wears them, though. It is merely a fashion statement. For one thing, it would take an acrobat to get into most of these…

Propensity to Self Subversion The Fashion Model Fashion shows are a remarkable sight. It is always wonderful to behold, with its weird materials, designs, hair and make-up, shoes and accessories. Nobody really wears them, though. It is merely a fashion statement. For one thing, it would take an acrobat to get into most of these…