Is Teenage Fashion A Taboo?

January 30, 2024

Is teenage fashion a taboo? Personally, the answer lies in the eyes of the beholder. Some may perceive it as such, while others may see it as a natural part of adolescent development, a journey of self-discovery and expression.

Teenage fashion is the clothing styles and trends that are popular among teenagers. It is often influenced by various factors such as cultural shifts, music, celebrities, social media and peer influencers. 

I think we can all agree that teenagers are highly influenced when it comes to fashion, especially in the 21st century, as they have come up with new trends and fashion as a mode of expression and not just for the sake of wearing and mind you, I am not implying that our “ancestors” do not know anything about fashion.

Teenage fashion has served as a canvas for self-expression, identity exploration and cultural belonging. What might be considered a taboo in one era could be embraced in another. Let us not forget that the media plays an important role in shaping perceptions of teenage fashion on the trends, especially when they portray them as controversial.

Which brings us to the thought, does the media contribute to the creation of taboos around teenage fashion?

I can’t argue that the media doesn’t contribute fully to the destruction of cultural norms on dressing codes as teenagers are more often glued to their phones learning new fashion trends and emulating them. 

Social media platforms have also created a space for different people to showcase their fashions, hence leading to different cultures embracing  social media as the platform for sharing their culture. Teenagers then get to emulate this by using creativity and bringing in a new fashion trend with a copyright from a certain culture.

Parents, of course, frequently express concerns about their teenagers’ fashion choices, fearing that certain styles may be inappropriate for dressing codes. This raises questions on if these concerns are about societal judgements or if it is the gaps in the generations on the understanding of fashion evolution.

Some may argue that teenage fashion is empowering giving the adolescents a platform of expressing their creativity in fashion, but are the trends really bringing about a sense of individuality? That’s a question that both teenagers and adults should ask themselves. 

Critics on the other hand contend that other trends might exploit teenagers by objectifying them to peer pressure to perfecting oneself in fashion evolution. Not to say that cultural backgrounds also add up in this discussion. What may be accepted in one culture is taken to be a taboo in another and the level of judgements for teenage fashion differ in that context. 

Understanding one’s culture gives one a sense of fashion evolution but due to some factors like peer pressure and influence, some teenagers act past their cultures so as to fit in another’s self satisfaction.

Blair Waldorf once said that, “Fashion is the most powerful art there is. It’s movement, design and architecture all in one. It shows the world who we are and who we’d like to be.”

Your style should match your ambition

So what do you think, Is teenage fashion still a taboo?

By: Esdaisy Njoroge, Child apprentice

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