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Fanshawe Fashionista: Fashion becoming clothing optional

Jennifer St. Denis | Interrobang | Opinion | January 16th, 2006



Editorial opinions or comments expressed in this online edition of Interrobang newspaper reflect the views of the writer and are not those of the Interrobang or the Fanshawe Student Union. The Interrobang is published weekly by the Fanshawe Student Union at 1001 Fanshawe College Blvd., P.O. Box 7005, London, Ontario, N5Y 5R6 and distributed through the Fanshawe College community. Letters to the editor are welcome. All letters are subject to editing and should be emailed. All letters must be accompanied by contact information. Letters can also be submitted online by clicking here.
I couldn't help but wonder, while writing all of these articles about fashion and clothing (or lack thereof), what is really the point of clothes? I know wearing clothing is essential for keeping yourself out of jail since nudity — in this country at least — is not permitted. And designers would not exist if the need and demand for unique and luxurious wardrobes went extinct. But other than avoiding legal issues, and promoting the name of someone you have never met before, what purpose does clothing really serve?

In Canada, or other relatively chilly countries, garments are obviously worn to shield you from the cold and the many elements that come along with it. However, in warmer countries such as India or Africa, clothing in not as practical for gaining warmth; instead it seems necessary in identifying groups and certain tribes.

Social status is often determined by what type of clothing you wear, and in most cases can lead to prejudice, comments or assumptions. Various groups can be labeled simply by the brand of shoes they wear, their style of shirt or pants and the colours of their ensemble. Gothic groups for example are usually easy to spot, as most are dressed in all black with dark imagery to complement what most believe to be their mood. And preps can be classified as someone dressed to impress in bright colours and suited mostly head to toe in the latest designer threads.

Religion also has its role in the choices people make while shopping for new clothes. Some religions are strict and require followers to wear a specific outfit, a specific way on a specific day. Other religions simply ban you from wearing certain clothing altogether.

Family tradition or ceremonious events also help us determine what to wear. All cultures have different traditional clothing for weddings, funerals and other great events and most of these have done very little evolving over the years, and include a lot of the same elements and principles.

So with all of the many different reasons out there, I still sometimes wonder what the point really is. Clothing is used to differentiate between social classes, religions, tribes, and to shield us from the elements, to say the least. But have you ever wondered how much simpler life would be if we walked this earth just as we were brought into it? Prejudice stereotypes and labels based primarily on outer appearance would be gone, however self-expression and style would also be extinct, and emphasis on personal etiquette and inner beauty would prevail. With the global temperature on the rise and necklines plunging and hemlines rising, I predict that ultimately nudity will be the universal trend.

It's natural, somewhat practical and most importantly, easy to keep clean!

Think society is ready for the Skin Age? Email Jen at fanshawe_fashionista@yahoo.ca
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