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Those who feel the need to follow the ‘ins’ and ‘outs’ of fashion, say, “Ayyeee!”.  I’m not judging, I get you. I’d be lying if I said that I didn’t have a Pinterest board named, “Future Closet”, where I pin all the gorgeous clothes, shoes and accessories on my feed. I’d also be ignorant if I said it was just for fun, rather than acknowledging that these trends on my social feed actually contribute to what I think would make me live up to social beauty and fashion standards. Could this mean that we have a very lowkey style-bully lurking in the midst of our social media feed? Let’s think about it. 

By all means, I am not saying that anyone should stop following trends, if that’s what makes you happy. Trends are a great thing; they allow us to feel and look confident, and keep up with the times and seasons. Trends can also just be super fun to follow, they are able to act as a guide on our own journeys to finding our own personal style and may even prompt us to try and become trend-setters ourselves. However, I do believe that we should not make trendsour magic 8-ball regarding what we should wear in order to fit in or look good. 

We all need to remember that these trends that are floating around on our feed, are not the be all and see all, of fashion. We do not need to conform to anyone else’s idea of what looks good, and we most definitely do not need to fit in. Do what makes you feel comfortable, stylish and happy. See these trends more as fashion tips, get ideas and adapt them to your own style. Wear your fashion identity on your sleeve, because at the end of the day, you don’t stand out by following trends, you stand out by being you. 

Nonetheless, we can’t ignore how the latest craze on our feeds may make us feel unhappy and pressurised. Let’s reflect. Have you ever been in a situation, where models rocking some kind of trend that speaks to your taste are plastered all over your feed, igniting your will to buy something similar and rock it as well? Only to realise it just doesn’t work with your body type, making you feel uncomfortable instead of confident? On top of this, let’s not forget the expenses involved… maybe we can’t afford what is “in”. That is when our feed can become toxic, because it is affecting the way in which we look at ourselves in comparison to other people, not just in fashion but in lifestyle. This, in the long run, can become extremely detrimental to our self-esteem, mental health, and overall confidence. 

This is why I urge you all to pick up on these signs of negativity. If any trend makes you feel pressured to follow it, get it off your feed. If any model evokes you to feel like you need to conform yourself to a specific look, get it off your feed. If you feel like your social media space has become one that is compelling you to do something you don’t want to do, you need to recognise that it is a form of peer pressure.

Beautiful humans, we have the power to take things into our own hands, and that is what we must do.  Fashion is what you make of it; style is supposed to be unique to each person. Stand out, live in the moment, and feel what you wear. The confidence, validation and reassurance you get from being happy with your own style is otherworldly. Stay true to yourself, adapt,and grow. Beauty has many faces, shapes, and styles – so don’t rule yours out.

Final year UCT student, studying towards a Bachelors of Arts Degree. Majoring in: English, Language and Literature; Film & Television as well as Media & Editing.
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