Friday, September 14, 2007


Yesterday I ran into webpage where people post pictures of others and occasionally themselves, and other people rate and criticize them.

It is no news to me that different people like different things, and that some people like to spend a lot of time criticizing others' choices in clothing, hair and makeup, but what was surprising is the number of people criticizing other's looks on the basis that they are out of fashion, in the sense of "this was OK 2/4/20 years ago when everyone wore this, but not now".

Weird. The last time I heard this argument was in the 8th grade. (After that everyone probably just gave up on me.)

Seriously, what makes people think this way?

What is fashion anyway? How does it develop and change? Does somebody think of something new, put it on, and other people see it and like it and start wearing similar clother too? Do people start wearing new fashions because they appear in the stores, or do they appear in the stores because people want to wear them? What about fashion magazines and suchlike: do they say "this fall's trend will be..." because they look at people and are good at predicting the things they will be wearing, or because they are trying to decide what the people should wear?

What makes so many people follow trends, anyway? One thing of course is the limited choice of clothes in the stores, but this does not explain makeup and hair. For that matter, what makes some people purposefully avoid trends?

I have always sort of assumed that most people have some kind of taste of their own, which does not change much with time or trends. Is this not the case, at least for some people?

I am sure trends affect everyone's taste at least a little. I know they affect mine by introducing me to new things: a year ago it would never have occurred to me to wear Crocs, simply because I had never heard of them. But what makes people stop liking some clothing style they used to like last year?

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