Talking About Fashion When Life Hurts

Within a few short weeks, the people of the United States witnessed Hurricanes Harvey and Irma wreak-havoc onto the lives of our fellow citizens, simultaneously we remembered the tragic events of terror known as 9/11; while trying to pick ourselves up from the travesty of hate which took place in Charlottesville, Virginia. To say we’re in the midst of uncertainty is a severe understatement. A resurgence of hate, coping with a divided nation, dealing with the mayhem created by persons in the most powerful positions — to name all the culprits would be futile, and would only lead to further angst. With all that has occurred, I have found myself in a dispute with my own conscience, as I contemplate my own career choice in response to what is happening in the world.

The life I have created for myself is centered around the world of fashion, style, and all things beautiful. I am a personal stylist, style contributor, and content creator. On any given day, I can be found posting images across a variety of social media outlets regarding the latest fashion trends, style, and a host of other artistic impressions. Though my life is surrounded by beauty, I am not immune to the pain and suffering that rattles our world, nor am I blind to what is taking place.

Like anyone with an ounce of human decency, my heart bleeds from the calamity. Yet and still, the work that I’m involved in requires me to engage in conversations that seem completely contrary to what our current world climate projects. I’m left to wonder how to carry-on when my content seems so insensitive. How do I continue to talk about fashion when life hurts? As I talk fashion and the latest runway trends, others escape from treacherous storms with only the clothing on their backs. As I post well-styled images in beautiful locations, others stare at the land where their homes once stood. While I’m asked to test the latest beauty products, others wonder where they will bathe.

Where must the line be drawn, when everywhere you turn, you find yourself recovering from the blow of a huge sucker-punch? There was once a time when tragic events spurred industries to take a somber and reflective approach. During the aftermath of 9/11, celebrities attending fashion and entertainment events had an overture which called for less glamour and more discernment. Let’s face it, the fashion industry, and those of us who occupy this territory aren’t typically viewed as compassionate, rather, we are usually associated with self-centeredness and consumption.

As I pondered my latest content, I asked myself — Where do I go from here? Should I continue discussing fashion, or should I scale back? By continuously sharing “said” information, am I being viewed as an insensitive asshat who lacks empathy, and only cares about the outer portrayal of whom we are? As fashion week began, my usual excitement waned. My internal compass suggested I reframe from such vanity laden topics, and perhaps move into other discussions. However, torn I felt, there was something deep within me that found a profound comfort in bringing to the masses, my take on fashion and style. I decided to reach out to my community to gauge their hearts on our current state of affairs in conjunction with the world of fashion. Here is one of the comments -

“A new post from you is wonderful respite from all of the terrible things going on in the world! There is so much written about hate and suffering that it is easy to fall into despair. You give us a little oasis of civility and beauty and I appreciate it.”

Within the words of this carefully crafted response, the answer I sought had been found. Fashion is not only viewed as vanity, but it is a source of civility and beauty — a place where we can, if for a moment, live as if life isn’t hurting.