Changing fashion trends: Creativity or moral decadence?

Celebrities may appear to have it all; style, talent, beauty, power, money, and an adoring fan. When you look at them, you will detect a unique element.
Shakira  (Net photo)
Shakira (Net photo)

Celebrities may appear to have it all; style, talent, beauty, power, money, and an adoring fan. When you look at them, you will detect a unique element.

They are the world’s celebrities and their fashion choices influence the world fashion industry.

Their lifestyle and recognition says it all, that they are suggestive and seductive. They are what some call “superstars”spreading  their unique dressing style from America to Europe and now to Africa.

Some celebrities, like Beyoncé Knowles, socialite Paris Hilton, Shakira, 50 Cent, and Eminem have turned their bodies into art galleries.

They use their bodies to catapult their careers and create fame.
According Jean Baudrillard, a famous French sociologist, cultural critic, and theorist of post-modernity, fashion corrupts morals, because it gives it dynamism. It has no value-systems, nor criteria of judgment: good and evil, beauty and ugliness, the rational and irrational.

Young celebrities have also embraced the trend. They look up to older celebrities for fashion direction, and the issue of tattoos seems to be the order of the day. They wear them on their backs, arms, or ankles and they are designed in different styles.

The power of celebrity is significant, and these young women and men will not only imitate the fashion, but whatever these celebrities do, including their foul language. 

Wearing clothes in search of attention is however no longer news, because this seems to be the order of the day! Celebrities like Britney Spears and Victoria Beckham enjoy the free publicity from their extreme fashion sense. However, when it comes to media coverage and fan attention, revealing too much seems to be a “must do”.

Today, the irony of celebrity fashion is no longer about who hits the red-carpet, or has the latest design, but seems more like a stripe tease thing, or contest on the ultimate skin game.

Unfortunately, many people do not even realise that they are under the “celebrity influence”. The effect of celebrity on fashion choices is highly unconscious. Many are unlikely to openly credit celebrities for influencing their wardrobe.

Teenagers worldwide are obsessed with fashion and parents have cause to worry that this trend could negatively influence them.

There is however a different school of thought with regards to dressing and how much should or shouldn’t be revealed. Jackie Umutoni for example, a prominent businesswoman in Kigali believes everyone is entitled to dress as they feel is right for them.

She asserts that dressing ‘sexily’ is not an offence, especially if one’s conscious is clear.

“I dress to please myself, but not anyone else, though I avoid dressing against my conscious,” added Umutoni.

When does fashion become offensive and depraved? Paris Hilton, famous for her scanty dress sense, knows the power of seductive clothing. Her frequent appearances on international television and in magazines clad in ‘frontless Donatella Versace mini dresses and bikinis leaves little unrevealed.  She definitely knows the impact of nudity on fame.

Today’s fashion can be described as sexy or sleazy, because it hardly has anything one could wear to meet the in-laws or grandparents.

Inspite of this worrying trend in the fashion industry, we all have a collective responsibility to ensure that our morals and cultural heritage is not corrupted by it.  Parents, teachers and guardians can positively influence youth and teenagers on the virtues of descent dressing. 

Local celebrities also have a big role to play in influencing dressing trends in the country.  The onus is therefore on us to embrace the good fashion tips that come from the West and shun the bad. 

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