WHAT YOU NEED

 
  PAUL OUTERBRIDGE, "BEACH EQUIPMENT," 1936

PAUL OUTERBRIDGE, "BEACH EQUIPMENT," 1936

 

Dear Diary,

I feel the need to share my disdain for some aspects of the fashion industry. From magazines to Instagram posts, the fashion industry is often telling us what we want and how to be. Even independent companies are guilty of this kind of marketing. I have always had an aversion to this type of message and for this reason, I never read teen magazines, or garbage celebrity gossip, or let the beauty and fashion industries tell me that my 5' 1" body, my frizzy, curly hair, and my resting bitch face don't fit the mold.

In the age of the image in which we are living, I feel the need to speak out against the narcissism this message creates. Love THY selfie, sure... but also, get over yourself. Humans all have warm blood and complex emotions. We all have beating hearts and internal dialogue. AND YET, THE AGE OF THE IMAGE has HELPED create the "me" generation - and I think this generation is one that for the first time, defies age. Women my age and older participate as much as young women do. And there may not be as many man selfies out there, but today, all people are guilty. Plus, it's not just selfies, it's how we perceive ourselves and the messages we send out through media. And today, most messages seem to be, "I'm so special."

Individualism is a farce, none of us are any different from each other in the end. We have different world views based on how we grew up and what we were attracted to, but nothing is unique in the realm of human emotion. Nothing separates us from each other beyond our own self image.

I am constantly experiencing an internal struggle, I make $300 hats and $350 brooches. And yet I want fashion to be accessible. I ask consumers to not shop at Forever21 or H&M, but not everyone can afford Bagtazo. And it's not like Bagtazo is making a huge mark up. The things I sell are high costs because I work with US factories and the workers are paid a fair living wage, and the US dollar value is such that my costs end up higher than if I produced overseas (even with fair wages paid). But I often think if nothing else, maybe my work will inspire others to do something. To work hard and to never betray your taste. 

In my perfect world, fashion bloggers aren't just photogenic girls who liked to shop and then started getting free stuff because they had a "good following." They're voices for women who inspire each other to have dreams and work hard. In my perfect world, media from brands DON'T make someone feel like they're doing it wrong if they don't have that product. And I certainly would want luxury brands to create an air of inspiration rather than the sense of exclusion. Not sure if I'm successfully getting this message across from Bagtazo's public outlets, but this is my goal.

Maybe my west coast native idealism is showing, but I do know that I am sick of what I see everyday. I love social media - Instagram and Facebook are how I unwind, how I stay connected to friends and how I get a large majority of information. Tumblr is my guilty pleasure of visual beauty. I'll never knock social media. I will however, hold people responsible for what they put out there, and how they express themselves and the messages of their companies. I am so sick of being told what I want. I am so tired of seeing the same brands at all the 'cool' boutiques. Homogeneity sold as individualism is the name of the game today. And yuck. Just yuck. 

The lifestyles sold in media are often shallow and uninspiring. They can make people face what they don't have in their own lives, and thus consumerism is born. And if expensive things can't be afforded, then of course, inexpensive copies will do, because the message we are all getting is that we need these things in order to live whatever lives we're trying to live.

But what we really need is fulfillment, and that doesn't come from having nice clothes, or cool nail art or amazing pottery. It doesn't come from having a lot of followers on Instagram, or going to Europe and Tulum. It comes from finding something you love to do, and dedicating yourself to it. It comes from loving yourself, and sharing love with others. And I also want to go to Tulum and have nice pottery, but WITH ALL THIS "WHAT YOU NEED" GARBAGE FROM MEDIA, I have to remind myself that these are not the things that actually matter FROM TIME TO TIME. They just elaborate my life, but they do not make my life.

I'm not sure how to really end this rant, but I do feel I needed to say it.

I work in the fashion industry and yet, I can't stand major elements that are common place within the industry. I guess I just wanted you to know, if you care to dig deeper than a picture on Instagram, that you're not alone. That there are people in this industry who are really like you, and just want to live their lives and wear things that make them feel good. I make things because I think they're pretty, AND THROUGH MY WORK, I FIND LOVE AND FULFILLMENT, WHICH IS SOMETHING SPECIAL I CAN SHARE WITH THE WORLD.

AND PROBABLY, YOU'VE HEARD EVERYTHING I JUST SAID BEFORE, BUT I JUST WANTED TO REMIND MYSELF AND ANYONE WHO STUMBLES UPON THIS, THAT What makeS us unique is how we express ourselves, but this doesn't come from the BS homogeneity the fashion industry is trying to sell as individualism. It comes from what we say and how we say it.

Down with individualism. Yes to love and meaningful experiences. WE'RE ALL SMART ENOUGH TO NOT FALL FOR 'WHAT WE NEED.'