The Barbie Experience: Equal Representation

Growing up, for many young girls and myself included, having a Barbie represented dispelling reality to create a fantasy world where pint-size figurines took over the world in amazing fashions. Having the option to dress my plastic friend in clothes I wished existed in my closet amplified my desire to own a Barbie. The plethora of style options I owned allowed me to create any kind of Barbie I wanted with the change of an outfit.

It didn’t dawn on me that a representation of myself was lacking in my created Barbie world until Mattel, the toy manufacturing company for Barbie, produced a replica doll of the singer Brandy(1999) and the movie Life-Size(2000) was released, which depicted model Tyra Bank playing a Barbie doll turned human. Seeing a different version, besides the predominately white, bleach blond hair and anorexic skinny plastic figure, of Barbie allowed me to contrive an utopia where a sense of my identity was displayed in the world I created in my head.

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It is estimated that a billion Barbie dolls have been sold in over 150 countries with three Barbie dolls approximately selling every second. Barbie is a cultural icon that represents American fashion and beauty standards. Due to Barbie’s image, the doll received major criticism, with many stating that the doll is sexual provocative and portrays an unrealistic image of female beauty. The popular toy communicates to the world that only one identity of beauty exist.

Attempting to change the iconic image, Barbie recently introduced the evolution of Barbie call the Fashionista which highlights four different body types (petite, curvy and tall), seven various skin tones and a myriad of eye colors and hairstyles.

Further revolutionizing Barbie’s image, Haneefah Adam, medical scientist and blogger, created garments that showcase a more modesty look for Barbie called @hijarbie. The 24-year-old from Nigeria told mic.com that she wanted to have a doll that looked like her.

“I want them to be inspired — this is about having an alternative and creating an awareness of having toys that adopts your religion and culture and in your own likeness,” mentioned Adam “at the end of the day, leads to an improvement in self-esteem.”

How do you feel about the evolution of Barbie?

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Fashion Consciousness: Know What You Are Wearing

Fashion Consciousness: Know What You Are Wearing 

Have you ever thought about the garments that hang in your closet, besides the designer name that is printed on the label? If you are more conscious about the production of your garment, an app called Buycott is available to help you identify the good, bad and ugly about specific brands. 

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image-Flickr: toco

Read More:Buzzfeed.com elaborates more on the app.

Declutter Your Closet and Eliminate Stress

Desirae Holland

Declutter Your Closet and Eliminate Stress

Images taken from various website
Images taken from various sites

I have to admit that I am an emotional hoarder. Clothes that offer sentimental value tend to linger in my closet way past its expiration date. Going through my closet a couple of weeks ago, I decided to retire countless clothes no longer acceptable to wear in public to the graveyard. No tears were shed but I did experience a burden release. Witnessing the aftermath of the burial, I was pleased to have an organized closet. Besides the benefit of having an organized closet, disposing unnecessary clothes can alleviate the stress of having to find something to wear in the morning.

Having too many options when trying to find something to wear can lead to a stressful task because we are not able to process the abundant of information we are taking in. CNN explains in an article that information overload leads to decision fatigue.

Neuroscientist and psychologist Daniel Levitin, expressed to CNN that “information overload refers to the notion that we’re trying to take in more information than one can handle…The conscious mind can attend to about three things at once.

WhoWhatWear.com expands on the aforementioned idea by expressing that information overload is equivalent to an overflowing closet of clothes. The more you have to think about what to wear, and the more you have to rummage through, the more energy you’ll expend, mentions WhoWhatWear.com.

Decluttering your closet by sticking to a uniform or even essential staple items can help to eliminate stress. Sticking to the concept of less is more, fashion pioneer Janelle Monáe paved the way for uniform fashion with her stylish wardrobe. Monáe expressed that she rocks her uniform in honor of her parents, who were proud blue-collar citizens. Her uniform generally consists of chic black and white suits.

If you cannot conform to a uniform, decompose your closet by only keeping essential clothing items. Below I list five must-have staple options.

A Little Black Dress

Fitted Black Blazer

Crisp White Button-Down Shirt

Hip-Hugging Jeans

A Nice Pair of Slack

Also with the season of giving among us, start by donating those unwanted clothes to thrift shops and charity boxes. Do your daily routine stress you out when trying to find something to wear?

The Trajectory of a Trend: Choosing Quantity Over Quality

Desirae Holland

The Trajectory of a Trend: Choosing Quantity Over Quality

Image taken from socialalteration.com
Image taken from socialalteration.com

I experienced a nostalgic moment from my childhood when jean-jumpers, gaucho and bell-bottom pants made its way on the fashion scene recently. The experience was short lived and with good reasons because I truly hated those trends. Before the aforementioned trends could even breath life they were expired and the fashion connoisseurs were making raves about another trend.

In today’s fast paced culture everything is consumed and spit out faster than the blink of an eye. At no surprise to anyone, the fashion world thrives on the new. Fashion is about being and staying the most relevant. Designers want to produce innovative designs, bloggers want to be seen in the next “it” thing and media outlets want to be the leader in exposing the next fashion trend. Consequently with the help of social media, everyone, even consumers, is now granted with the influence to dictate what’s in, which seemingly increased the fatality of trends. There is no longer a leader in forecasting trends; anyone can set the trend with the posting of an Instagram photo. Its been seen countless time-leather sweatshirts-how fast a trend can start, become viral and die just as fast with the overexposure of coverage.

With trends moving at the speed of light we now live in the age of quantity over quality and major retailers such as Zara, H&M and Forever21 to name a few are cashing out big with this concept. Fast fashion is based on the concept that designs move from the runway straight to stores with no delays to cash out on the most current trend. Consumers are offered replicas of high-end designers designs, inexpensively and fast. It’s practically a sin to be seen wearing the same item twice on any social media platform and with stores like Forever21 offering wardrobes for less than $100, it possible now to have a fresh new look everyday.

While retailers are rewarded tremendously due to fast fashion, consumers are often deprived of creativity and quality. A ten-dollar shirt from H&M life span is about two wash cycles. It’s often said you get what you pay for and with fast fashion we get greatly inspired fashion designs with low quality. I absolutely love the fact that I can take a trip to Zara and immediately find an inexpensive item that’s trendy. Yet at the same time its bittersweet to know that my purchased item will only be viewed as trendy for a short time and will most likely have a short life span due to its quality.

What are some trends you wish stayed longer? How do you feel about the idea of Fast Fashion?