I constantly have an internal struggle between my passion for fashion and my desire to consume less and live more conscientiously. In addition to that, I dream of a world where women are valued equally to men and not just based on their appearance. Ironic, right, that I base my career around improving the way women look when I don’t think it should bear much weight?
Well, I’ve always just enjoyed getting dressed. “Dress Up” was my favorite childhood game, and the pleasure I get from putting outfits together hasn’t faded. I love the way you can almost become someone else just by changing your outfit. And that’s the basis for my image consulting service: be who you want to be by putting on the right clothes. (Finding the right clothes is the big problem, and that’s where I come in!)
On the other hand, I’ve always believed that you’re happier with less stuff. This idea was reenforced multiple times during my Semester at Sea experience, when I took a class on the psychology of happiness and witnessed multiple communities that had almost nothing and couldn’t be happier. Our culture of consumption is also disastrous for the environment. Just look at the way we’re destroying the planet with our trash and greenhouse emissions.
I’ve also begun to notice more and more the way women are not given their due value. The glass ceiling, the difference in wages, the lack of representation on Capitol Hill, and the way those few female elected officials are talked and written about, not to mention the way women are represented in mass media, all contribute to weakening them in our culture. Women are not seen as equals, and we are generally valued based on our looks and sexuality.
But how does that solve the issue of women being judged based on looks? Well, that problem is solved with my mission of helping women be a better version of themselves as an image consultant. I’m not going to promote wearing a low-cut shirt or tight skirt to get a promotion or job or whatever. I am going to discourage that method and instead help women find clothes that fit their bodies better and make them feel confident without showing off private parts.The solution I’ve come up with for me is this: No New Clothes in 2013. I’m making a New Year’s Resolution to stop consuming. But don’t take that to mean I won’t be shopping. I don’t have the self control to give up shopping. Instead, I will only buy clothes that have been previously owned or worn: vintage, consignment, second-hand. By only buying used clothes, I won’t be contributing to the destruction of natural resources to create new stuff, and I’ll be helping to eliminate waste by keeping some things out of a landfill.
Wish me luck! I’ll post updates of all my great finds.