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The Forum > Article Comments > Enhancing our identity-deprived lives > Comments

Enhancing our identity-deprived lives : Comments

By Jane Rankin-Reid, published 24/4/2006

Has our exasperated, impatient, characteristically nationalistic demand for social homogenisation placed the realities of cultural authenticity beyond our ethical reach? Discuss!

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Authenticity in Fasion, apparel should emerge from our cultural realworld experience!

We see glimpses of this in Acoubra hats and the such like. I'd like to see other truly indigenous (Both white and Aboriginal) expressions of 'Australian' culture in fasion design.

This kinda threw me:

"The long held myth that we women dress predominantly to appeal to the opposite sex, rather than as an expression of our own cultural condition or personal ideals has proved harder to disabuse, in part due the international fashion industryís marketing of sexuality as an open source commodity."

Myth ? well, probably true for some women, but given that the reproductive urge is second only to 'Survival'(yet is closely related to it) I find the idea very real and not very mythological.

What annoys me most, is the way the fashion industry see's its social calling to regard breasts as a 'fashion accessory' almost. It seems many designers include 'how much can I show' garments.
The cynical (Like me) sees in such things a cheap and lazy blatant grab for attention and cash. Just like the B movies and the TV stations who's motto seems to be "Ratings down, NEED MORE SEX" kind of thing.

Authenticity in fashion, in my humble though forthrightly stated opinion, should not pander to our lower nature. It should look at creatively displaying ourselves, yet in a modest way. (i.e. modest with our yummy bits). To do otherwise sends the wrong message to our children and our peers, and surely does not help our parents generation to feel confident about the future.

Let the day come, when we can creatively and colorfully display

3Your beauty should not come from outward adornment, such as braided hair and the wearing of gold jewelry and fine clothes. 4Instead, it should be that of your inner self, the unfading beauty of a gentle and quiet spirit, which is of great worth in God's sight.1 Peter 3

Outer beauty without inner richness of character is useless. If we were blessed with wonderful looks, should we 'flaunt' them? Who does this help? and how ?
Posted by BOAZ_David, Monday, 24 April 2006 11:07:56 AM
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Interesting question. Why do we seek ethnic authenticity in our clothes, accessories, home decor and all the other ways we put ourselves on display?

It's too easy to conclude that we're compensating for an inadequate sense of self somehow connected with our current moment in history. In 1909 Selfridges customers had commentators asking the same question in relatively homogenous London. At the time it was thought to be something to do with suffrage and British patriarchy.

I'd be surprised if it had anything to do with an altruistic drive to help less fortunate others.

Is it limited to the Western world?
Posted by chainsmoker, Monday, 24 April 2006 12:52:56 PM
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We are tribal creatures, Jane. Social animals wired for life in close-nit groups. Even as our communities grow larger, our toys more sophisticated, still we need group identities, and knowledge of our place in those groups.

Consumerism is a form of accepted/acceptable tribal conduct. Buy the latest stuff, be seen with it. Body modification is both very personal, potentially very public, and equally both inclusive and exclusive.

Buying 'authentic' things has long been considered 'more worthy' than collecting mere replicas. 'Authentic' things are considered more valuable. No reason that should change anytime soon.

Perhaps this 'trend' that people are just beginning to notice is a response to the sameness that pervades so much of Western consumer products on offer through stores that are themselves commdities. One that, ironically, ends up being more sameness because so many others are doing it too. [Like that exciting 'new' emo thing that kids of a certain age have discovered, and their siblings consider passe]

It's a pity more people can't travel, and live in someone else's culture for a while. Few things bring home 'Home' quite like not being there.

We're branding ourselves to bland.
Posted by maelorin, Monday, 24 April 2006 11:41:45 PM
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These days we have the choice of which tribe we belong to and if we want to belong to one at all. Very few choose not to belong to one. Before you had no choice either you fitted in with the tribe you were born into or your outcast and left to die. Now there are tribes of outcast so even when your none-conforming your conforming to a another tribe and showing your cred. Who knows you may start your own tribe, cause if you donít want to follow then you must want to lead.
Posted by Kenny, Tuesday, 25 April 2006 5:14:45 PM
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