Thank goodness for the progressive fashion industry. Women would just be wandering around aimlessly without any direction or inner fortitude, if we did not have fashion designers to empower us through clothing styles. According to the Sydney Morning Herald the runways of Paris are featuring man style dress for women. Women are finding strength by wearing tomboy chic - boyfriend blazers, wide-legged trousers, peg-leg pants, power suits, stiff white shirts, suspenders, fedoras and stetsons.
What they would like us to forget about or the sweatshops that are in operation to make this beautiful suit. They would like us to forget about the women that are virtual slave labourers to produce many of the garments that we wear.
Why is it that women are meant to find empowerment through consumption? It is not at all accidental that consumption keeps our capitalist market running. It keeps us slaves and beholden to the ruling bourgeoisie. Shopping is not freedom, especially when it is at the behest of those that already exploit large sections of the global population.
The fashion industry would have you believe each season that the serviceable clothing which you own is no longer fit to wear. Only someone ridiculously backward would be seen in last years fashions even though it has no holes in it, and looks practically brand new. They create a purposeful obsolescence to enrich themselves.
Not only do we collectively own a ridiculous amount of clothing, but we continually replace it with little or no regard to the cost of the environment. If you have two legs why do you "need" 20 pairs of pants. We have one torso, why do we "need "20 shirts? The answer is we don't, but we have been so conditioned to consume that we give little thought to the excess of our consumption.
Should someone decided not to partake in our western display of opulence we socially stigmatize them. How many times have you heard the whisper, can you believe what she was wearing? Weekly we have shows on television like what not to wear emphasizing the fact that our self worth can be measured by our clothing. Suddenly with the right jacket, or the right pair of jeans a woman is transformed into a worthy and loveable being.
It is time for women to start to think about why we continue to internalize the message of acceptability though appearance. It further suggests that 'woman' is always in need of improvement. We need not perform for anyone, we simply need to accept and love ourselves as we are. The seasonal parade of fashionable consumption is not liberating, and it encourages us to participate in the exploitation of poor women.