How many of these (or variations thereof) have you seen lately?
Wear this blouse and be the belle of all the Christmas balls!
Summer is here – get your bikini body fast! And… do you have a sexy enough bikini?!
How to turn heads and look your stylish best at the races.
Buy these sexy summer dresses to look your best at work and play!
Et cetera, et cetera, ad infinitum.
Even the most oblivious consumers among us have probably seen all of the above. And unfortunately, that’s just part of the problem.
Let’s be real here: style guides are complete, and utter, bullshit. What all those “style guides” are trying to tell us is this: your clothes are crap, and without spending heaps of money on a wardrobe pre-selected by someone else according to a very narrow standard of beauty, you will look terrible. Clearly, they’ve never heard of such things as inner beauty, self-confidence or, you know, being yourself.
It’s horrifically depressing. But, we already know this.
If we know this, the question is, why do we keep reading such rubbish? Why do we voluntarily subject ourselves to feeling like crap every time we look at images of impossibly pretty people wearing impossibly nice looking clothes, comparing ourselves to what we imagine to be their perfect lives, and somehow tricking ourselves into believing such a false reality can be real life?
While style guides claim to empower us by telling us that we’ll feel stylish/cute/sexy/strong if we wear the pre-selected outfit, the truth is they do anything but boost our self-confidence. Instead, they make us feel worse, as if we’re not “worthy” without the products they peddle.
The other thing these “guides” often say (and sometimes not in subtle terms at all) is that without them, no-one will find you attractive. That, of course, is bullshit. Clearly, they’ve forgotten a little term called “self-confidence.” And you know what confidence is? Telling someone you’re wearing a particular outfit because you felt like it, not because a style guide told you to. But regardless, there’s a whole lot more to someone than how they look – and who should give a fuck anyway? As long as you’re happy with yourself, that’s all that should matter.
With the holiday party season in full swing, it’s important to remember this stuff, especially with the emphasis on gift-giving and blatant consumerism associated with Christmas and other holidays at this time of year. We’re all a whole lot more than the clothes we wear. Advertisers don’t seem to want us to know that, though.
This holiday season, let’s focus on what really matters: friends, family, and finishing what’s been a trying year strong and preparing for 2017. Because that’s a hell of a lot more important than looking pretty.
Somehow, I don’t think you’ll be seeing that in a magazine spread anytime soon.