Tuesday, February 24, 2015

What The Fashion Industry Needs to Stop Doing!

Happy Wednesday, I hope you all had a fantastic week so far!

I have been busy over the last couple work days with Demure's bridesmaid dress commission, and planning for my Spring fashion show!  I hope to have it filmed and posted on the blog.  I will be showing six items; one bridesmaid dress, two up-cycles (from last year's show), and three original designs from yours truly. ;)

Now on to the article.

What the Fashion Industry Should Stop Doing

Writing "What Styles are Out" articles:
     Fashion is about expressing your personality with your clothing. I understand that some people might have been walking around in a certain style (for example, a peplum) since 20-whatever and might be bored of it, but don't say that others who are still wearing them are "not stylish" or "not fashionable".  That denies others the ability to express their own style, or prevents them from enjoying their favorite trends.
     Plus, some fashion journalists don't put into perspective that people who have less money or choose not to spend much for clothing cannot get a hold of an article until it is "out of style".
     Now I am not saying that being current is not something to strive towards, but don't tell me that I am not fashionably dressed if I wear an older trend.  (I mean, for the last few years haven't we been emulating past eras anyway?)

Using sexual advertising to get people to buy their items:
     This type of advertising is low for two reasons.  The first being, that it is obviously inappropriate and objectifies people.  The second is, that it shows that the styles that they have created are so badly done they need the help of animalistic behavior to be bought; in short, it lowers the acclaim of that brand.

Photoshopping people to make them look more "beautiful":
     I'm not talking about photoshopping to remove zits or using a filter, but rather changing someone's body shape to make it look thinner or more "beautiful".  This is not only lying to their customers about how their clothing looks on the body, but it also can cause insecurities and create self-loathing in people. 

Using cheap and horrid labor conditions to produce their clothing:
     I mean, come on!  We are so blessed in this country that we over look that others, who sometimes are child workers, are making our clothing in disgusting conditions.  Please people, produce our items locally or use a fair trade manufacturer.

What The Fashion Industry Should Be Doing:

Donating money, clothing, or food to the less fortunate:
     Some designers are already sharing what they have, which is so cool!  I think designers are tasked with the mission of providing the population with beautiful clothing.  I think that this should also include people who can't afford quality clothing.  Tom's shoes provides an amazing example of helping the less fortunate!

Teaching people how to maintain a healthy and beautiful body:  
     Exercise, a healthy diet, and lots of water are all important parts of looking and feeling healthy.  I think that people in the fashion industry should be encouraging people to take care of their bodies.  A lot of what human nature considers beautiful is what people would generally look like if they listen to their body and take care of it.
     For example, pimples are a struggle for teens, and sometimes they cannot be controlled, but other times they are a result of your body reacting to certain things. (Like if I eat too much dairy, I break out in the middle of my forehead. You can read this article for more information: What is Your Acne Telling You?)

Teaching people in third world countries to successfully run their business:
     World Vision is doing a great job of providing women in developing countries with business loans that "recycle" and help hundreds of women.

Using models that don't fit the typical model specifications:
     Even though I don't agree with their modesty standard, I love that Modcloth is using models that are real!

Now I understand that some of you might feel that you cannot help in these issues, because you don't work in this industry, but you can!  When you buy from brands who uphold better standards, you are encouraging them to keep doing those positive things! 


Monday, February 2, 2015

Stop the War on the "Modesty Culture"

Many of you have probably seen numerous posts all over the web about whether or not to wear leggings and bikinis.  This one in particular has fueled me for writing this post: The yoga pants witch hunt: missing pieces of the modesty conversation (Thank you Hannah Schaeferfor expressing your views, however, some of them I don't agree with, but I hope this article will respectfully and adequately express my feelings on the subject.)

Some may say that wearing leggings or bikinis "show too much of your body and therefore lead men to sin", others however think that this is a "too severe" or "too conservative" point of view.

Personally, I believe both items can be attractive, but I think that it is wise to abstain from wearing either of them.

Why, you might ask, in our modern culture are they a problem?  When, as you can see, so many others wear the these items every day. 

These are the 3 main reasons why I don't wear bikinis nor leggings. 

Number one: I stand out, and in a beautiful way.
Dressing modestly encourages me to find rarer or unique styles to stay within my modesty standard, while following current fashions.  As a fashion conscious woman this is very good. A bonus of maintaining your morals is that you can encourage other people to do the same.

Number two: Because of the effects they can have on other people.
I know people constantly berate the "Modesty Culture" by saying that it makes women feel responsible for leading men to sin.  Now personally, unless you are intentionally wearing something to purposely lead someone to sin, I think you're fine, after all it's where your heart is.  I choose to not wear bikinis and leggings, because I don't want to make men (and sometimes women too, though in a different way) feel uncomfortable, guilty, or self conscious.  Each person has their own set of stumbling blocks, and while I can't and will not try to dress modestly for the entire male population (because it would be impossible) I will try to follow my own standards; guidelines I have developed through counsel, prayer, and reasoning.
A few of my brothers in Christ will say that bikinis and leggings aren't a stumbling block for them.  So why am I still against wearing them?  Though these might not be a sin issue for them, I know for a fact that they are for other people.  Some of those people might not even recognize bikinis or leggings to be a stumbling block, because they might not have the best intentions or correct morals.  Therefore, I am also protecting myself from their thoughts, while maintaining my dignity; rather than being considered an object, which brings me to my next point.

Number three: I want to be viewed as a person, not as an object.
A study from Princeton confirms my desire to not wear a bikini:

From an article on CNN's website:

"New research shows that, in men, the brain areas associated with handling tools and the intention to perform actions light up when viewing images of women in bikinis.
The research was presented this week by Susan Fiske, professor of psychology at Princeton University, at the annual meeting of the American Association for the Advancement of Science."

Another article from National Geographic goes on to say:

"And in a 'shocking' finding, Fiske noted, some of the men studied showed no activity in the part of the brain that usually responds when a person ponders another's intentions.
This means that these men see women 'as sexually inviting, but they are not thinking about their minds,' Fiske said. 'The lack of activation in this social cognition area is really odd, because it hardly ever happens.' "

Now, I am not blaming men for thinking this way; that is their "Cross" to bear.  I want to help them overcome the stumbling block, or not even have to deal with it, as much as possible.  I also want to protect myself from being thought of as an object by a guy without a good moral compass or one who is failing at that moment.

And as far as leggings:
I feel like women are made up of a myriad of different aspects (beauty, mystery, charm, purity, personality... the list goes on).  In the case of leggings, I feel like the aspect of sexuality (which is a beautiful part of being a woman) overrides the others so much that it should be saved and given to the man that you have committed to stay with for the rest of your life (aka your husband).

In Conclusion:
With all of this said, I wanted you to know that I am not condemning anyone, but rather calling you to action and asking you to consistently think about your clothing choices, so you can help others remain pure, while maintaining your decorum.

Modesty and purity are not exclusively a female responsibility, rather it is a communal commitment to respect others.

I think we should stop this war over the "Modesty Culture", and rather with love and respect, work together past our differences, to make the world a better place.

See you on Friday's Vlog!

Here are the links to the articles about the bikini study, caution, they are for a mature audience:
National Geographic

I found the above photo on Pinterest, to check out my business Pinterest click here.