Dress Needs: Reflections on the Clothed Body, Selfhood, and Consumption

Posted on September 25, 2012

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“How does he acquire his knowledge that the molten wax is the same as the wax solified despite the multiple changes it undergoes?”

“Consumerist culture plays on the anxieties about individuation and self-expression it both stimulates and condemns”

” Piled up clothing and jewelry”

Clothing has and always will be looked at differently by people everywhere. Some individuals use it as protection, a sense of self-expression, and others to establish a message with text across their chest. In any form it is used all over the world it can give a sense of freedom. Stereotyping often comes into play in all situations by what you wear. Depending on your region and beliefs a simple color choice can make a very loud statement. Not only what you wear but also who wears it and in which way can make all the difference. Many items of clothing are more associated with one gender and when that paradigm is broken society does not know how to deal with it properly. This leads to misunderstanding, confusion, and sometimes hate. Although “Dress Needs” I believe we currently need it more than it needs us. What if we weren’t able to walk down the street and be classified in seconds simply by our dress? How would someone feel if they weren’t known to be affiliated with a certain group, club, or organization? What if our clothing didn’t reflect our professional life? What if you didn’t want it to?

Although there is a lot of question on dress and the reasoning behind it, it can be too complex to answer. People dress for comfort, purpose, and looks to name a few. However, dress has been transformed into something more than utilitarian purposes. Decisions of what you choose to wear can make all the difference of a day, week, and in many cases your life. It can give you the confidence and happiness to strive for the best or lacking the clothing you would prefer can give you insecurities.  Some people dress dedicated to religion, morals, and beliefs. With this said, they are making it known loud and clear what their beliefs are which says a lot about a person or gives some brief insight of who they are and definitely what they believe. Such as, the example of Christian mythology that losing your natural innocence is due to dress. Therefore, human beings no longer have their innocence because of the clothing they the chose to put on. Or on the contrary, the theory that clothing makes the person.

Although people claim to want individualism it is confusing to see how easy it is for them to conform to group. While trying to replicate a similar look than making one on their own. Playing it safe and having the comforting feeling that others judge them wont often leads to basic clothing. However, clothing gives people an identity and they rely on this to differ from others. Although part of a sub-culture or group, individuals can still have their own identity with certain parts of their clothing. Whether people choose to stand out in a gaudy manner or chose to take a step back and blend in with the crowd. These are all decisions that we make by dress of what we are and what we want to become.

Links:

http://www.inthetent.org/research/?p=710

http://sophos.berkeley.edu/kolodny/165.pdf

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Posted in: ART 302