Fashions of Today
`Fashion’ refers to the prevailing custom that is followed in one’s clothes and behaviour, etc. Certain usages in society also come within the definition of fashion.
In the West it is against fashion to enter a room with one’s hat on or to shake hands while wearing gloves. A man should not sit when a woman is standing. It is considered unlucky if thirteen persons sit for a party.
In our dealings with others we have to observe etiquette. ‘Excuse’ is used as an advance apology for troubling somebody, as when passing in front of him or interrupting his conversation or when putting a question to a stranger. ‘Pardon’ is the polite way of asking somebody to repeat what he has said. In our country it has become fashionable-to ask personal questions. But such questions show impoliteness in countries like England. We should also avoid staring at others.
Going to the movies has become a fashion. If a young man does not go to the cinema, he is considered as lacking in artistic taste. But most of the young men who usually go to the cinema do not realise the great harm that they do to themselves. They may become discourteous to the fair sex.
No marriage is now complete without loud-speakers. Cinema songs are belched through them, causing great inconvenience to the students and others in the neighbourhood. Sound pollution is harmful to the ears. It increases blood pressure and muscular tension, according to Dr. Justus J. Schifferes of the United States.
Fashions sweep everywhere. The half sari or the long skirt is now out and the salwar kameez has made a remarkable comeback recently. This outfit has slowly and steadily become very popular with the younger generations of the gentle sex, especially those in the age-group of twelve to-fifteen. College students prefer it, as it is comfortable, Modest and economical and facilitates mobility.
By the 1950s jeans had become the standard play clothes of the children in the West. Teenagers were battling with parents and teachers to be allowed to wear jeans to school. Gradually jeans became a symbol of defiance, against authority or oppression. Suddenly, fashion discovered blue jeans. Shops overflowed with the blues jeans for the young and the old. Now the craze for this apparel has become very great in the West.
In some nations like the United States, ‘baby shower’ has become a fashion. An expectant mother sits in a chair. A number of gifts, such as dresses, cosmetics, and toys, etc. are given to the woman for use of her baby. The women who attend this function wish the pregnant woman a safe parturition. Men are not allowed to attend this function.
Now everyone wants to look elegant. Nobody likes to be called ugly or dowdy or old. Large amounts of money are spent on cosmetics and hair-dyes. The-American women spend about three million pounds a week on cosmetics. Nowadays many girls and women living in our cities and towns go to beauty parlours to get their pimples and scars, etc. removed, and to enhance their beauty. They are also fond of lipstick and nail-polish.
The people of the present generation are very conscious of the necessity of being beautiful. But we must remember `Beauty is but skin-deep.’ According to Aldous Huxley, real beauty is as much an affair of the inner as of the outer self.