Do you buy into a particular fashion trend?

When I say ‘fashion’, I’m including clothes, shoes, makeup and now cosmetic enhancements – do you buy into the current ‘look’ and know what’s really going on.

Some of my blogs may start off and appear not to have much to do with photography. But over the last 19 months of writing, there is always a vital and relevant connection. They are always on a subject that affects how people feel in front of a camera or what they see in an image. This could be a direct attachment to a subject, or a general underlying influence that has affected you over a period of time.

This one is mainly based on our attitude to following fashions and why we do it in relation to how we see and feel about ourselves.


Now I love clothes and make-up as much as anyone and have probably adopted different styles over the years. But my attitude has changed also… for the better (I consider) I’m glad to add. Once, I would try something on and be disappointed in the result, because my basic self-esteem on how I looked was not the greatest. Yes, I would see a fashion or trend and try to replicate that look. What I saw in a picture was what I thought I wanted to be like and how I wanted others to see me… whether it suited me or not! 

Valuable guidance

Working as a photographer, I frequently get asked for advice on what to wear for a shoot. I give them a few tips, but also recommend they consider the services of a stylist. Such a person can help them with what colours and styles suit them, whatever age, shape and size they are at. Many will also help you make the best use of your existing wardrobe, rather than buying new.

Below, I’ve shared a video interview with Shirley Webb, who is a colour and clothes stylist.

Fortunately, I’ve never been a ‘label’ follower. Yes, I look for decent quality clothes, but not highly priced, recognised branded items. There is nothing wrong in these items if you really love it, looks good on you and you can afford. But there are those who will buy into this, regardless of its cost and whether they can afford it, simply because of it’s name. Many believe they will be judged positively because of what they are wearing, believing it creates a sense of where they sit in society. 


Once I would never go out, or go to work without some on. Why? Because I didn’t want people to see the real me. I had been conditioned in my younger years to think that the ‘look’ of makeup was expected and I’d be judged by not ‘looking my best’. But not so influenced to remember my grandmother suggesting my own mother should wear a little more. My mum never did wear a great deal, she was busy bringing up five children, so her priorities were elsewhere.

So my use of make-up has now vastly reduced. I can happily go out with or without makeup and confident in how I look. So I wear it when it suits me now and enjoy the look of both. 

Cosmetic enhancements:

This one I question the most, however for many is a regular expenditure:

  • Botox
  • Lip augmentation
  • Facelift
  • Eyelid lift
  • Forehead lift
  • Rhinoplasty
  • Plastic Surgery
  • Breast augmentation
  • Liposuction

I’ve never had any of these as I don’t consider I need them. However, having never experienced any, will try and stay balanced in my opinions, as once upon a time a younger me may have felt differently. 

Yes, I can completely see why some might be helpful and favourable in certain circumstances. They have perhaps been born, or experienced changes to their appearance through accident or disfigurement. This can already have led to a lifetime of challenges with bullying or judgement. 

I also empathise with those who’ve already bought into this option for whatever reason they felt it necessary.

Fashions change!

Of course they do and will always continue to do so through time. Why does this happen? Well yes, we all need to buy clothes for practical reasons but would also want to look good in them… nothing wrong in that. From my own observations it’s driven by the big corporates who sell us ‘fashion’ and our insatiable want to carve an identity in how we look. One feeds the other.

Therefore, if you’ve bought into permanent cosmetic enhancements to be part of a particular look or style – what happens when that fashion changes? Our skin is our largest organ and serves many purposes. It’s not there just as an aesthetic covering.

How I want others to see me

I don’t know when I became aware that this life is not a competition – it’s really not.
Or, looking for approval from others in how I look in order to fit in – is not needed.
Or, perhaps it was when I introduced the idea to myself that I’m exactly as I should be just as I am.
Or, I stopped criticising myself and wanting to change things.

I choose to buy into MY own look and continue to nurture that thought that I am enough.

This leads me onto that word ‘perfect’.

When we apply it to ourselves, does the word ‘perfect’ get taken out of context?

If we can agree that we are all different and unique in our own ways, why do we consider ourselves as having ‘imperfections’? 

Who has the authority to say a particular size, shape… or ‘look’ is what we should be aiming for to be a ‘somebody’? 

If it makes us individually feel better to make a change in ourselves then we do it for us and not for others. Why should we entertain others judging us on our size or looks?

When we start to consider and embrace that we are already perfect, you can start to like and love what you see to a level you never thought possible. 

Yes that might seem like a goal many of us couldn’t achieve. But, what have you got to lose by trying? Is buying into a particular look because you compare yourself to others, the best reason?

Being photographed and viewing images of ourselves, simply underlines and exposes that view we have of self.



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