If, like me, you have some kind of interest in fashion and/or shopping then you likely subscribe to or follow a few of your favourite brands or fashion publications via social media. Great! It's fun to follow fashion and trends and it's always good to be informed of new arrivals or a sale...for those things you've been keeping an eye on or have on your shopping list. And who can deny the styling inspiration you can glean from such beautifully staged studio shoots or images of your favourite celebs. All positive things!
However, one aspect I've begun questioning is just how much influence these media messages can have on us as consumers and how easily they can negatively influence our buying behaviors. What I've noticed a lot in my own inbox and social media accounts is the classic journalism tool of attention grabbing headlines. Bold and inclusive statements are made and often a cheap price point called out to lure me into reading the article...or more accurately into feeling like my wardrobe is lacking and I therefore need to buy more things (unnecessarily!). Some headlines are even slightly shocking, how can $30 pants be "life changing", and more importantly whose life have they actually changed, the wearers or the likely underpaid garment workers?!
I'm not saying all of these messages are bad or negative, of course I want to know about the upcoming trends for the season, that's why I signed up, but I don't have to end up owning all of them. And it's not only things I've signed up for, I can be casually scrolling a completely unrelated website and an ad for those shoes I was looking at yesterday appears. There's literally no avoiding the marketing train, thanks Google! Seeing clearly through the constant and abundant fog of media messages in front of us is the main issue here. But it's hard sometimes, I know...I can't even tell you how many times I've been scrolling through Instagram and noticed an amazing piece on a fashion blogger and 10 minutes later I'm halfway down the rabbit hole and wondering if I should track down said item in my size!
Mostly these headlines have highlighted to me the mindset of society today, or the mindset we've been trained to have. How it's almost always money that drives us, how we view our wardrobes as disposable and how we are always ready to move on to the next thing...it seems FOMO (fear of missing out) is all too real and is being harnessed as a successful marketing tool. I've realized how much influence the media really has on our decision making, only months ago these messages went unnoticed in my inbox and I happily clicked on them, soaking up and considering all of the potential additions to my wardrobe. The internet age has caused a dramatic shift in our ideals and I think we could all do with a bit of a reality check.
Approaching this onslaught of marketing with a clear and confident mind is key to staying true to ourselves and avoiding purchases that we don't really need and aren't truly us to begin with.
What do you think of these headlines? Do you read articles like this? How did we get to the point of thinking that things are directly related to happiness and constantly feeling like we need to ditch last seasons wears to conform to this seasons trends? And most importantly, how do we get back to giving fashion and our wardrobes the value and appreciation they deserve?