CYNICISM, HOPE AND FASHION
Above: Inaugural poet Amanda Gorman.
It seems like a good time to think about the link between fashion and hope. You see, I believe that hope is the antidote to cynicism, and this week in particular I've noticed a lot of hope-crushing skepticism out there. Rather than go down this dead-end road of doubt, I want to give some thought to how, along with your personal style, fashion gives us a platform for self-expression, independence, optimism...hope.
Culture is essential to our human experience and it's something we alone create. It may take the form of fashion, art, music, architecture, or literature, but fundamentally it plays the role of being a medium for conversation - for statements, questions and answers. The culture of fashion is the world's most accessible art form - or form of self-expression. It is a conversation about who we are and who we are not.
Above: Dolce & Gabbana's Spring 2021 collection was infused with optimism.
Fashion happens every time you get dressed. You might get splashy with the latest trend, or go for something comfortable, but either way, you're asserting yourself. We are individuals (with a sense of self), but we must exist as a group. With fashion, we can express ourselves as individuals and still operate within the broader context of society.
Having the voice of fashion is liberating. It is hopeful and optimistic.
Above: The legendary David Bowe used fashion and roll-play to underscore his lyrics as concerts became performance art.
And one more thing...
Critical thinking without hope is cynicism. Hope without critical thinking is naïveté.
The stories that we tell ourselves, whether they be false or true, are always real. We act out of those stories, reacting to their realness.
What storytellers do — and this includes journalists and everyone who has a point of view and an audience, whatever its size — is help shape our stories of how the world works. At their very best they can empower our moral imagination to envision how the world could work better. They help us mediate between the ideal and the real by cultivating the right balance of critical thinking and hope. Truth and falsehood belong to this mediation, but it is guided primarily by what we are made to believe is real.
Yes, people sometimes do horrible things, and we can speculate about why they do them until we run out of words and sanity. But evil only prevails when we mistake it for the norm. There is so much goodness in the world — all we have to do is remind one another of it, show up for it, and refuse to leave. Read the full story from BrainPickings.org.
“Nakedness is wholly inappropriate in almost all social situations."
- Joanne Entwistle