The moment Kylie Jenner or Zayn Malik post a new picture on their social media handle, it becomes a huge rage, firstly because they are celebs and also because youngsters look up to them for fashion inspiration.
A world where trends are changing fast and your look is of utmost importance, youngsters have a lot to keep up with. Pop culture from all over the world reaches us within microseconds and sets the bar for what is in and what is not.
However following these so-called ‘hot’ trends comes at a heavy price. Anything that is endorsed by celebrities and further popularised by social media becomes a trend. Whether it is clothes, shoes, smartphones, or solo travelling, the idea is to be at our fashionable best and Instagram-ready.
BURNING A HOLE IN OUR POCKETS
When we imbibe trends, we imbibe them from celebrities who have a huge social media reach and tons of money but in an attempt to impress others with fancy clothes and shoes, we forget that while these may be affordable for celebrities, they are extremely expensive for us. To buy the trendy stuff, some go to the extent of cheating and lying.
Anusha Shah, a 19-year-old from Jai Hind College, Mumbai confesses that she used to spend all her pocket money on clothes from Zara because they were in all fashion magazines and everyone was wearing them. “My pocket money was mainly for travelling and other essential expenses, but I hardly used it for that. I once told my mother that my money got stolen and spent the money in buying new clothes, and even hid my new clothes from her,” says Shah who later realised that this couldn’t go on for long and ultimately mended her ways.
According to clinical psychologist Shachi Dalal of MPower Mings, youngsters believe that following such trends will make them popular hence they keep a close eye on the changing trends. “If Alia Bhatt is wearing this, I should wear it too is the mentality of the youngsters — they want to own fancy shoes, wear clothes that are fashionable and can go that extra mile to just be a part of that social circle. They don’t see the price, just the pride in owning such things,” quips Dalal. She adds that a few rich youngsters who own fancy clothes and expensive fashion items are put on a pedestal and considered the coolest of the lot.
“There was a time when I began hating my parents for not letting me buy a pair of ripped jeans from Diesel. I didn’t speak to them for nearly a week because at that point of time I didn’t understand that spending Rs 10,000 on a pair of pants was the dumbest thing,” reveals 20-year-old Kunal Patil from Mumbai who was obsessed with looking like celebs and showing off to his friends and on social media.
Like Patil, most teenagers are not in a position, as they are merely students, to indulge in these trends nor are their parents willing to shell out much for their indulgences. Not all of us come from sund financial background that would ever allow us to splurge on such expensive items.
Says Sneha Banerjee from Kolkata who spent all her pocket money on fashion items, “I started demanding for more money from my parents, who obviously couldn’t afford to pay beyond the college fee and my rent. I would fight and argue with them on a regular basis but it was beyond their capacity to fulfill my unjust demands. I wanted to look cool and a fashionista, hence I began borrowing money, stopped paying college fee and even lied to my parents for extra pocket money on the pretext of buying new books. However, soon my parents understood and stopped sending money completely which taught me a lesson and I keep myself away from such traps now.”
Instead of understanding the absolute irrelevance of these trends and being considerate of their financial constraints, youngsters often revolt. According to Dalal, fighting with parents, family unrest, and sometimes even stealing money from both family and friends are extremely rampant in such cases. “You need to understand that what you wear or own doesn’t add any value to who you are as person and spending ridiculous amount of money or hassling your parents for it is not at all sensible.
You shouldn’t base your popularity and self-esteem on such things. Focussing on improving your nature is what eventually counts,” she advises.