The latest looks, the hottest styles, the newest mommy movement.
It is fun to spot the next big thing before it catches on! But are you taking trends too far?
Self-Worth Analyst, Karen Eddington, says it is time to evaluate your relationship with trends.
Mistake #1 Spend money we don’t have to be on trend
Instead of having a conversation about credit card debt, let’s consider social class and what it means to be exclusive. Trend, by nature, is exclusive meaning not everyone can or will participate. This can leave people out and establish a hierarchy.
Roman emperors, Egyptian kings, and royalty in medieval Europe are all known for making purple a hot trend based on uncommon resources and social class. Purples and blues were rare pigments that the lower class could not afford and often had the same value as gold. People once had to go to great lengths to acquire the color dye through rare natural minerals, or mollusks. Surface soils and earth tones were more available and associated with the lower class. If you wore purple it demonstrated your status, it established your importance. Even today society likes to create situations of hierarchy and glamorizes things that difficult to obtain, often by how much they cost.
We may be unknowingly participating in trend to be seen as important, specifically MORE important than another person. Trend can give us status and create the illusion that we are of a higher social class. The mistake and unhealthy aspect is in that it can create an illusion that depletes our money and leaves us with low self-esteem.
Mistake #2 Trend is our identity
What are you known for?
Some people want to be associated with their ability to stay current. Some women connect themselves with up to date home décor, knowledge of new craft techniques, or a high sense of fashion. When we look to trend to establish our identity we will be forever limited to the success or failure of trend. This can make us feel like we are constantly in a race we will never win, that no matter how hard we try our efforts are never enough.
The mistake is when we use trend as the key source of our courage and character. When trend fails we feel insecure. To overcome this we need to make sure we have developed a sense of self-acceptance when participating in trend and to create an awareness of how heavily we are relying on our relationship with style, craze, and staying up to date.
“When I was in high school I wore name brands and I knew what was in style. Those trends have since faded and I’ll admit I am feeling very insecure about my appearance. Because of motherhood and a budget, I can’t keep up as I once did.”
“I have been one of those people known for a unique fashion sense. I usually don’t think twice about how I’m feeling when I’m on trend. But I feel really low when I’m not fashionably put together, my house is not perfect, or I miss out on new information.”
Mistake #3 Failure to recognize industry
Businesses rely on new ideas and fresh design in order to turn a profit. Is it bad? No! Consider where trend comes from. It starts with an idea and can be based on creativity. We can find strength, inspiration, and motivation through creativity. Businesses can’t always sell the same things, they evolve and not always for the sake of profit. Sometimes it is to beat boredom, to give people opportunities, or because of a powerful idea. Trend can be good for the economy.
The mistake comes when we let businesses persuade us our worth is based on participating in trend. Take the time to recognize marketing and sales strategies.
Mistake #4 Wrong Motives
Sometimes we participate in trend because we don’t want to be excluded, we are hiding our insecurities, we want to gain acceptance from other, or we want to reflect importance (presenting a counterfeit front vs. being authentic). These are all unhealthy motives for participating in trend.
Remember taking care of ourselves is good. Dressing appropriately is good. Trying new things based on self-acceptance is good. The mistake comes when we disregard our authenticity. When we ignore our true character in order to please others we limit our power.
Look at your motives. Why? What is your honest reason for trying the new floral pattern on skinny jeans? If it is not based on feeling excluded or establishing acceptance it can help refresh our life. There are also times you need to try new things to discover if you do like them.
Positive Examples: The motive for participating in trend is based on self-acceptance vs. peer acceptance.
“I know floral patterned skinny jeans are not for me and I don’t get defensive or depressed when I see other people wear them.”
“I love trying daring fashion as it fits with my bold personality. (I’m not participating to please another person, because it is the ONLY source of my identity, or to get recognition) When I participate in trends I love, they can be a way I can better take care of myself. I tried the floral patterned skinny jeans because it was fun and I like the trend. It took some of the monotony away from my life.”
Mistake #5 We let it take over
Social media has allowed us to track trending conversations and situations. Getting up to date information can be addictive. Technology is always changing. As soon as you get an iPhone, you may find they release the iphone5. There are great uses for trending topics and technologies as they allow us to connect and be productive.
The mistake comes when we allow trend to manage us, instead of keeping an ability to manage trend.
Not sure where your relationship with trend stands? Take this quiz
Karen Eddington is a Self-Worth Analyst and has spent over ten years researching women and teens. She is the author of Today, I Live and is a popular speaker on self-esteem. For more information you can go to www.kareneddington.com
Watch for Karen’s new book “Understanding Self-Worth” coming in 2013 to a bookstore near you.