Minding Appearances: Style, Truth, and Subjectivity

Posted on October 3, 2012


” Larger Project on styles and subjectivities representing diverse gender, racial, ethnic, sexual, and socioeconomic standpoints.”

“Fashion is enabling symbolic adjustment to a rapidly changing world, helping individuals to detach from the past, to resonate with the present, and to anticipate the future.”

“If men and women would only look at each other, really look at each other’s appearance, they would be forced to think of transforming social conditions.”

“In fact, those with the least power (for example, young women in developing nations) are most likely to spend their days and nights materially producing goods that they cannot even anticipate minding their own appearances.”

The way we view ourselves is very important in American culture today. However, how do we know when we are really noticing ourselves? And at what time are we focused on this? The concept of “minding appearances” is thinking through possible interrelationships among style, truth, and subjectivity. Being aware of our surrounding on a daily basis is for the most part normal because it then determines demeanor, body language, etc. But what do we think of ourselves or what do others think of us? So many people are engulfed with the latest trends, fashions, etc. It is still quit unclear when we really truly think about our needs and wants rather than the opinions of others.

We are described as “mindless fashion slaves duped by consumer capitalism” and at this stage couldn’t agree more. Consumers shop just for the sake of shopping and in many cases really have no valid reason to buy things other than “that’s on trend”. I am curious of why they think it’s on trend and if it weren’t “on trend” would they really purchase it? Cute packaging, cheesy gimmicks, buy one, get one and freebies have been all the rage and it was has been a driving force in marketing and retailing. Consumer capitalism has targeted shoppers as they refer to as “slaves”. Being referred to, as a slave is being the property of someone else/a bound servant. Having no say it what you want to do is compared to fashion choices.

Having to “mind” our appearances doesn’t leave much room for individuality and free expression. Depending on what you wear determines who you are to strangers. It is determining what we are and what we are not. With this said how do our clothes make us? And since this is believed to be true, we should spend a lot more time finding things that portray what we are as oppose to what’s on trend.


Posted in: ART 302