The Destruction of Fashion


Hyacinth Baker, Staff Writer

Modern teens reveal too much skin. As a result, stricter dress codes have been enforced at our school. From chic dresses to plain white tees and stylish shoes to classic accessories, girls have a variety of choices. So why sabotage such opportunities for the sake of flashing skin? Fashion is meant to be a form of art, which allows people to express who they truly are. Students send different messages with clothing. Just imagine the message they’re sending to teachers when they wear plunging necklines and curve clinging skirts.  I am shocked by the terrible apparel I see at school. It makes me wonder, what happened to mystery and dignity? Is modesty becoming a part of history?

Beyond outfits, I believe there is an ulterior influence. In a sample of Stanford undergraduate and graduate students, 68% felt worse about their own appearance after looking through women’s magazines. Too many girls take the ways models dress and go to great lengths to recreate their looks. Researchers have also found that exposure to idealized body images lowers a woman’s satisfaction with her own attractiveness. Not only do media affect the ways students dress, it has a great impact on the ways they think. Even on a subliminal level, I compare myself to what I see on TV. Too often models are shown, in minimal clothing, cavorting with men. Upon seeing such advertisements, I am led to believe that immodesty is the key to attracting the attention of men.

Celebrities play a pivotal role as well. Adolescents derive inspiration from them. Lady Gaga is an ideal example. Her boldness reflects in her outfits. It conveys to her followers that they shouldn’t be afraid to be true to who they are. But, at one point a line must be drawn. How can tight jeans, towering pumps, and leather bodices say anything appropriate about a girl? As for boys, are their wife beaters representative of their personalities?

Now aside from promoting clothing, stars also advocate physical standards. As quoted by fashion icon, Kate Moss, “Nothing tastes better than skinny feels.” Her motto still has a powerful effect on students, who routinely feel the pressure to be thin. They look up to models and view them as idols. Yet, their influence is increasingly more negative than positive.  Nearly 70% of girls, in grades 5 through 12, said models influence their ideals for the perfect look. Undoubtedly, their body types and images are abnormal. They are simply unobtainable to the average individual.

But, failing to meet their standards can lead to terrible effects.  Teenagers have starved themselves in order to look perfect in outfits or impress their peers. Many resort to anorexia, bulimia or consuming vast amounts of water to conceal their weights. Numerous students take these measures in order to cope with physical pressures.

Instead of prioritizing appearances, teenagers must learn to feel comfortable in their skin. True beauty is a reflection of your being, not the clothing you wear.