The ideal image of fashion and the psychology behind it
Updated: Jul 15
Hy Guys, how are you?
In today’s week, I wanted to discuss a subject very dear to me, the psychology of fashion.
For the longest time, I wanted to approach this subject that correlates fashion to psychology and what that entitles.
I am aware this is a vast subject that may take a long time to be discussed and that is why today I am only gonna talk about the overall psychology in fashion and the ideals that it portraits.
I think everyone knows that psychology is defined as a way of explaining some behavioural traits and to understand why we do things the way we do. When you correlate fashion with this, some peculiarities aspects will arise.
Fashion was always overlooked and argued that is just a trivial way of portraying some clothes on a body, but it is so much more. Scholars come out with papers that discuss how people dress in a certain way to gain and to believe in a fantasy that these so-called products enable it.
Fashion is not stupid, and to do research in it is as hard as other topics. Don’t take it lightly.
Fashion though out time was portrayed negatively, which is understandable as body image disturbance occurred and eating disorders were a means of achieving it. Social media and fashion magazines created a portal that portraits a drive for thinness and social comparison that for many women and men is unreal and unachievable. At the same time, some case studies explored the benefits that come with a woman looking at ideal body images that relate to inspiration and fantasy.
Clothes serve many objectives, that go from functionality to meaning. Underneath all of this, there is a psychological aspect that relies on mental health and wellbeing. Anxiety has been a problem that our generations have been struggling with for a few years now. Women compared to men are more likely to be a subject of anxiety as they are judged on their appearance at a young age.
In ‘Psychology of Fashion’ by Mair C., she explains how women who were abused or raped where threatening as in a way their attractiveness was in retaliation to the act. Researches found out that the targeted victims who are more attractive, have grater blame for their own rape than someone is less attractive.
That makes me thing, that should women be more conservative so that this type of tragedies wouldn’t happen? We get the blame for something that was in fact not our fault, and this is the main problem. When someone is raped, the blame always falls on the woman being the catalyst of it instead of the sick person who did it. The psychology behind it shows that what is beautiful is desired, and as women, we want to be perceived as beautiful, not for someone else but for ourselves. When things like this happen, ultimately we become an object that can be taken. Simultaneously if we are ‘ugly’ society rejects us, opportunities disappear and futures almost crush.
So, what is to be done?
Going on, fashion is not always bad when it comes to self and identity. Most of the times it is associated with an outward display of our identity. We dress to show our emotions most of the time. There are many factors that allow this, for example, the amount of money that they have, their body shape, their self-awareness and so on.
Occasionally clothes help us to befriend the body. With body insecurities, clothes are made to adorn, prepare, and self-assure the person of their attractiveness disregarding afterwards their concerns.
They can as well, help on a bad day. You can always become who you want to be when you desire to escape reality with the help of fashion. Fashion enables you to be whoever you want to be. There is a weapon when it comes to managing low moods, creating a shield of temporary protectiveness.
Fashion overtime has been seen as something to not be taken seriously, as a way of playing, which is it but as well so much more. There are so many more psychological traits associated with fashion that people do not know and that I haven’t disclosed in this article. It is a complex subject that people need to be aware of it. We live in a world where everything is surrounded by fashion, being the second largest industry, and people need to know it.
Thank you for reading it!
I hope I helped you in understanding the psychological aspect of fashion a bit!
See you next time!
All the photos have been edited by the artist Iorgulescu George Andrei, insta: gingerinprogress
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Mair C. (2018) Psychology of Fashion. Taylor and Francis