- Aisha Habib,
Gone are the days when purpose of wearing clothes was to protect the body from different weather effects. Nowdays people flaunt designer wear and brands for admiration and conformity in their circle. From lower middle class to the elite, a large ratio of women has got themselves engaged in obnoxious competition to look better in brands wear. And those who failed to meet the trendy wears run after the replica or try to copy that style but will get to wear the same dress after doing any “jugaar”. After getting the dress the other uphill task is to find the best “darzi” in the town which get you the fantabulous design not less than those he made for your friends and other females. When it comes to Social media especially blogging as a mainstream media, have fueled this fire by engaging the youth in the material world. Where bloggersp ought to be the influencers that spread positivity and inspire others through the good write up, they are not only exhibiting extravagence but also making youth brand conscious from marketing in brands accessories to the professional photographer.
Muzaffarabad, the capital of the state Azad Jammu and Kashmir which is known for its distinct existence due to its natives , is not even spared and also diffused into culture of brandism and fashion. In last two years many brands are launched in the city. Womenfolk who at sometime would fight for not wearing the same dress their friends have already wore are now ready to spend big chunk of amount to wear the same dress. And rest of upper middle class will opt to go to other cities ,after the brands which are yet not launched in the city so they look different and get some gush in family gatherings and kitty parties.
In the era of ” khaadi”, ” Gul.Ahmed” and ” Sana Safinaz”, the person’s individuality is lost. It seems that people have lost their identity and they are only walking brands. In Brandism culture, we have started depending on the ability to interact with the people primarily through sight. Therefore we think of our appearance alot that how people “think of us” or “think of me” if they see me in the repeated “jora”, for merely few adulations. Eventually they end up with the idea of the “I am what I wear” syndrome.
The problem is not with the clothes but in the shift of values. The Brandism trend is cultivating a cruel social pattern in our society where the value of a person is measured by how expensive and “orignal” the dress you are wearing, and how they see themselves and others is also changing. No matter how successful, confident and beautiful you are, if you aint wearing designer and expensive apparel, it will take other person a little while to warm up to you and will go with thin slicing. I am not at all against looking good but a judgemental society is not a productive and it kills the creativity in us. Why is that? Because we are comfortable in following and mocking the trends.
At the heart of the matter of fact is that in the world of “Brandism”, being your self is important. In the brand conscious race why not to wear what suits and looks good on us, rather than wearing something which everyone else is wearing. So what you are going to wear in next friends gathering?,
(The author of this article is lecturer and Social Activist. Email; [email protected])