I do not understand this discussion on wearing masks or not wearing masks. I get a bit nauseated by it, actually.
Seriously people, only now?
The way people argue over the masks sounds a hell of a lot like how people always argue about clothes. There are people that conform to the status quo and there are people that do not. The people that do not get called out by the people that do.
It is just a little louder now.
Maybe because instead of a trend it is now a completely new garment. Maybe because it was fast this time rather than slow, coming onto you silently through the generations.
Look, the oppression you are trying to revolt against (and please do, I love change…) is everywhere. But it sure is not new. We have always been told what to wear. We are just so used to it that we have stopped seeing it. We are in fact scared to see it, because when you do you realize we have sunk away in it, and getting out might be impossible. Once you have given away your freedom it hurts too much to realize how far it has gone.
And you, my friend, are a cog in the machine.
Do you think you are free to choose what you want to wear? Do you think that when you look in the mirror you objectively look? That the mask is the only thing that you have to wear, the other items are freely chosen?
How you are supposed to look is dictated to you. For a starter, you are fed information on how you are supposed to look on a daily basis. From tv shows, movies and commercials you get to know the newest trends, or simply how somebody like you is supposed to look. When you are a certain age you no longer wear short skirts, for example, or your hair really long. Often they will try and create a problem, like wrinkles, and have the solution for you to. You will have to buy it, of course.
You know it is all about the money!
One tool that is used to make us spend all our money are trends. Trends in fashion as much as trends in the beauty, food or car industry. Literally any industry, actually.
Here is how they work.
Trends do not come out of the blue. There are companies and people that have made trendwatching into a job. They are excellent in spotting vibes that are global, catch them and then sell them to the different stores so it is easier for them to design their new outfits. It is all based on the idea that when a complay doesn’t show the right trends things do not get sold.
But it is a self-fulfilling prophecy, especially in the fast fashion. The biggest stores, through this workflow, all have their own interpretations of the newest trends. And they are everywhere. The biggest chains can afford to be close to you. They can afford to be in all the main shopping streets all around the world selling the same collections. They can afford the biggest ads and maybe be featured here or there. So then we buy it. And we walk around in it. What you see others wear makes the biggest difference in what you want to wear. What you see others wear is what you want to wear.
It is so freaking simple it is difficult for me to write down.
If everybody you meet would be wearing something truly different, truly unique, something that would fit with their individual personality perfectly, you would be wearing something unique.
They don’t and you do not. We all wear the same uniform.
So, there you have it, that is where you are making sure that the status quo stays the same. That is where we allow them to keep us in their grip.
I’ll add a little example from my own experience because maybe I do not feel so appalled at wearing a mask because I am used to the feeling.
I am used to the feeling of being trapped in what we are supposed to wear. I am used to having my outfits dictated, commented on. I vividly remember a Dutch guy in the Swedish Alps trying to give me a hard time about my outfit. He saw I wore a onesie ski-suit from the 80s, and was appalled. He told me how stupid he thought it was to actually still be wearing those things. (Rather have me spend more money on a new suit, did he?) It didn’t hurt me, the outfit was thought through by myself relentlessly. It just shows how he limits himself, how we limit each other.
The biggest benefactors from our behaviour, are the people, investors, owners etc of the biggest companies on earth. Most fashion brands belong to the same people. Did you know that? They just keep getting wealthier and we keep feeling bad about ourselves because we cannot keep up with the newest trends, spend too much money on new ski-suits while the old ones are fine, or feel fat/hairy/old and try to work against that.
Stop giving them power, please?
How do you do that, you ask?
Try to think about what you really want to do, and do that. You want to stimulate a big fat spoiled albeit clever guy that is already wealthy? You can. Don’t change anything then. But there are so many new initiatives, cool designers and kick-ass brands that try to do something better! I would love it if we can give them more power.
So, my message to the one that is trying to find the best print and the best shape for their home-made mask; take this approach with you to the rest of the wardrobe. You want to find what works for you the best? Keep at it and don’t you dare to stop at masks.
And to the one that is getting in trouble for not wearing masks; what is the next thing that you see all around you and you do not want to do? Keep up with this attitude and put it to f*cking work in the other things that you do too. What else can you challenge? What else doesn’t suit you? Don’t you dare to stop at masks. Walk around on your bare feet and in your naked bum, what do I care, as long as you are not hypocritical and start being critical of all the things that limit your freedom of expression.