Are we Educated on other Countries Fashion Trends?

Essential Question: To what extent is western civilization aware/educated to the beauty standards and fashion trends that are evident in other countries?

The Burqa, eyeliner, the Hijab, the Sari, clogs, and the Kimono all products of different cultures and religions that date very far back. In America, we are very open to new trends, different styles, textures, and colors, but the big question is how do those trends come about? Does it date back to Ancient Egypt, India, or Japan? Do we recognize our intent of wearing these sacred or religious products? Western civilization is very aware of beauty standards and fashion trends, but have very little education on what the product really represents or why it is worn/used.

Living in America, new trends arise so frequently, but do we ever think of where they come from? Take a national event, or maybe even global event, Coachella. The biggest fashion piece at Coachella is a headdress. The headdress was believed to be created by the Sioux Indians. It is seen only warriors and chiefs; the most brave and powerful of the whole tribe. It is completely out of line for a headdress to be seen at a music festival unless it is a Native American wearing it, so festivals including one recent Canadian festival have banned the war bonnet because of “disrespect toward the dignity of aboriginal people”(Lynskey). Young people especially, are very unaware of their actions because they do see celebrities dressing in cultural things and deem that as being an okay to go ahead and wear. The truth is they are very unaware because of the fact they are uneducated on the meaning and cultural background of the product they are wearing.

America is also to blame for the modernization of sacred objects due to being unaware and or uneducated. Americans solely wear things as fashion and don’t think about meaning behind that certain product. For example the Indie Kimono that is sold in Urban Outfitters and other stores are not actually Kimonos. The name was taken from a traditional outfit worn by the Japanese. The traditional kimono was essentially cut down the middle so it has an opening, but is still the same light cloth made from an actual Japanese kimono. I think someone from Japan would be very offended seeing something so special to their cultural, now modernized and worn by teens and young women.

There needs to be something done for modernizing sacred objects and essentially altering traditional outfits to be more “American”. We need to speak out and say that it is not okay because it is disrespectful towards cultures. If everyone educated themselves and was aware what type of products they were buying and where they came from, that is the definition of a more accepting globalized world. The process of becoming educated on such fashion traditions in other countries is globalization, where as taking outfits and products and shaping them to become trends in western culture is not becoming a more globalized world.