I was watching Divergent last night (again). I’ve been an avid fan of the book ever since it existed (way way back in 2010/2011!!!!!) and it’s one of those books, like the Harry Potter series or Life on the Refrigerator Door, that I’ve read so many times I’ve lost count. Jeanine Matthews, that most hated of fandom villains everywhere, described human nature as the enemy. My first reaction was a Dumbledore-esque cry of ‘but it’s human nature to love! To form family bonds and help others and create strong morals and then enforce them!’ But however much I hate to say it, she may have had a point…
Bonds make us weaker. Love makes us willing to die for other people, even if it goes against orders or morals. Morals go against big corporations and, occasionally, the government. If I was planning to take that role, I, too, would want rid of human nature.
But Divergent and Anarchism aside, I it is also in human nature to copy. Not just in desperate exams but in every day life. We copy the way others walk. Accents. Body language. And slang is bounced around teenagers like me so fast that in a month one word will be standard fare in pretty much every internet – ed country in the world. Except maybe North Korea. Chances are slang is illegal there.
Most of all, we copy what we wear. For most of us, changing what we actually look like in terms of features and bodies is pretty much impossible: we just have to make do with what we were given. It’s because of this desperate need to copy that we want to look like each other, but we can’t. So what now?
Well, fashion, of course. If you hadn’t figured it out from the title already. Here, finally, is something we CAN change about ourselves, to try to make ourselves look as much as possible like everyone else! People talk about fashion as an expression of individualism, but, by the time it gets filtered down to us low budget high street infuencables, it’s anything but. Fashion now becomes a desperate race to look the most like THAT girl or boy and, just in the Olympics, there are medal worthy attempts and a awful failures. Because fashion isn’t about dressing in a unique way to suit both your body shape and personality. It isn’t about taste or favourite colours.
Yep, I hate to sound like an angry activist, but fashion is simply about control. Everyone looking the same and wanting more of the same means more demand which means higher prices and there’s no obligation to put them down. When people think independently, they’re lost as customers. So fashions take to every media device available on earth to convince that not wearing fashion is unacceptable. And, as someone who isn’t afraid of big, long dresses and calf – length skirts, it sometimes feels as if the media are in schools, too. Which in a way they are. Because if you’ve spent the most impressionable years of your life being told to follow blindly what you’ve been told to follow blindly, why wouldn’t you?
It boils down to this: we aren’t the same. Every person is different. So why should we dress the same? I dare you to ask just one ‘trendy’ person why they follow fashion. I have. And I’m still waiting on a reply.
Oh, and I’m pretty sure I made a few words there. And spelt nesescary wrong. But hey, what’s life without a little variety?