So­cial me­dia and per­sonal style

Stabroek News - - THE SCENE -

I wres­tle with the idea of per­sonal style be­ing alive and well in the 21st cen­tury. Given the dig­i­tal era in which fash­ion has to­tally en­gulfed it­self and the pretty im­ages be­ing con­stantly dan­gled in front of us, it is dif­fi­cult for any­one to stay faith­ful to just one par­tic­u­lar style. As hu­mans, it’s nat­u­ral to grow cu­ri­ous and ques­tion in­di­vid­ual beauty when per­fec­tion seems to be a swipe away.

Per­haps, I spend a lit­tle too much time stalk­ing style on In­sta­gram. Maybe this ex­plains why I con­stantly feel like my cloth­ing has ex­pired. Could it be that time­less­ness is not only based on crafts­man­ship but also how you nav­i­gate own­ing your style? Of course, if you re­peat­edly see the same im­ages they will ob­vi­ously have some ef­fect on your psy­che. You ei­ther feel an im­pul­sive need to buy the prod­uct, or a lit­tle less stylish be­cause you don’t have it.

Brands and in­flu­encers bom­bard us with the same im­ages and prod­ucts and this work out in their favour. And while so­cial me­dia may be a good place to stroke your ego if you man­aged to put to­gether a stylish look, in your opin­ion, it can be an equally painful place five min­utes later when it ex­hausts your trust in your self-con­fi­dence and per­sonal style. Per­sonal style is about self and aligned to your own views, so for this very rea­son per­sonal style should prob­a­bly kept some­what per­sonal. Per­haps we don’t need to post every look. Per­haps we should just be con­tent with the fact that we re­ally like it

Ac­cord­ing to author Dr Tim Bono of the book When Likes Aren’t Enough, “When we drive a sense of worth based on how we are do­ing rel­a­tive to oth­ers, we place our hap­pi­ness in a vari­able that is com­pletely be­yond our con­trol.” If we re­ally pon­der on such, hap­pi­ness will al­ways be a fleet­ing tem­po­rary mo­ment. There will al­ways be a new prod­uct and that five-minute eu­pho­ria when you ac­quire a ma­te­rial pos­ses­sion will some­how be­come shorter and seem less en­joy­able.

When we look at so­cial me­dia, cou­pled with the mul­ti­tude of neg­a­tive ef­fects that the fash­ion in­dus­try har­nesses, it’s no won­der that there are so many un­happy peo­ple be­hind those su­per flashy In­sta­gram posts. Ac­cord­ing to a sur­vey done by To­day’s Style, 51% of women between the ages of 18 and 24 said they feel pres­sure to look per­fect on so­cial me­dia. And 60% of women of all age groups said they would not post a pic­ture on so­cial me­dia, un­less they loved the way they looked.

So, per­haps per­sonal style is not dead. We need to ex­am­ine it with­out so much dig­i­tal noise and ap­pre­ci­ate it for what is truly is; it’s per­sonal. This is not to say that you shouldn’t post pic­tures to your so­cial me­dia ac­counts but if it be­comes a place where you feel less con­fi­dent about your choices, then it may not be the best place for your style. Af­ter all, it was Bill Cun­ning­ham who said that the best fash­ion show is on the streets. So, wear your clothes for you not for so­cial me­dia. www.on­line-run­way.com https://twit­ter.com/theon­linerun­way http://in­sta­gram.com/theon­linerun­way

Iris Apfel , an Amer­i­can style Icon and In­te­rior De­signer, known for her au­then­tic in­de­pen­dent style.

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