Trends for Life
September just started and brought with it not only Pumpkin Spice Latte (of which I wrote a year ago on Just Like NY), but also some “trends” for this Fall and Winter. And I guess for life in general. It’s in September that cities are waking up and the season really kicks off. I just bought the September issue of “Elle” magazine, because I wanted to see what’s going on in fashion (ok, it’s not the best magazine, but it’s not also the worst one out there).
I don’t follow trends, but I do like to check out once in a while what’s trending now. I used to buy magazines every month, quite a few of them, and reading them was a huge pleasure for me. It was my small celebration – I was making myself a cup of tea and opening the magazine, as if it was supposed to give me some kind of magic wisdom. And I tried to experience some of that magic again last weekend. I sat down, relaxed, opened it, went through a few pages and asked myself – what the fuck is that…? Suddenly flipping these pages made me so… bored. I was looking at tedious bags for over $1,000 and asked myself: Why the heck would I want to buy something like that…? The fact that most of those things were just not in my taste is one thing, but the other thing – the more important one – was that they kept telling me that it’s my “must-have”. And it finally – after all these years! – hit me. What does “must-have” even mean? Why do I have to have it…? What happens if I don’t buy it…? I must have it in order to look fashionable…? If I don’t get large pants – apparently a trend for this fall – and will put on my skinny jeans, instead, then should I avoid public transportation and prowl the city at night only…?
It’s not like I used to run to a store as soon as I see something in a magazine; I never actually followed trends anyway. And I was always skeptical about the idea of a “must-have”, but it didn’t bother me as much as it bothers me now. I get it, of course: it’s fashion, it changes and it gives flavor to your life and I like it too, but I don’t like the fact that those magazines make you feel bad about yourself. Because this is what they do with the slogans like “must-have”. You really start thinking that you have to have those objects in order to even go out on a street this season. They give you the impression that without these things, you’re “a bit behind”. And it really doesn’t help your self-esteem at all.
The other thing that bothered me were the articles themselves. I didn’t expect to get profound life lessons from there, but at least to get something of interest (even just about fashion). And all I got was some stories about wealthy American women and their problems. Some people just really lack the proper perspective and have a weird definition of a “problem”, I think.
Flipping through those pages made me not only bored, but sad – there are so many fascinating topics to write about and people to talk about and we still are stuck in the same irrelevant subjects that have nothing to do with real life whatsoever. A lesson for me – I’ll stop buying magazines at all, will check them out for some fashion inspirations once in a while (at McNally Jackson bookstore on Prince Street, at Barnes and Noble or at the Newsbar on Univeristy Pl Street – you can flip pages for free). And if I wanted to relax, I would rather lay down for an hour listening to music than waste my time on reading about subjects that don’t bring anything worthwhile into my life. Think of it – you want to relax and all you get are those photoshopped faces, stories about celebrities (who cares?) and stories about “how difficult is to grow your own kale”. Give me a break… Don’t get yourself crazy. And trust me - You’ll be just fine without all these “musts” they keep shoving down your throat.
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