Fashion influencer or fashion contentious?
So, you are well-known to be a fashionista. Friends always consult you before any fashion purchase, running their decision through you because heaven forbid should you make a wrong choice and suffer for a lifetime!
Relatives demand to be styled by you for every major occasion; from weddings to family dawats to even a meeting, your opinion matters because you know fashion like no other. You could be the hottest, most sought-after fashion influencer if only you bothered to create content for the masses!
You feel obligated to educate every soul around you about the ways they can elevate their personal style because you feel like it is a moral duty. When you walk into a party all eyes get turned towards you, holding and capturing attention till the very end. You possess a certain 'je ne sais quoi' that sets you apart from the masses and everyone wants to emulate your style, own it, and make it their own.
And yet there has been a strange doubt gnawing away at the corner of your mind. These days your friends seem a bit distant; they are hesitant around you. Your aunt who was the greatest fan of your chic style suddenly seems cold and barely talks to you.
What is wrong, you keep wondering when your mother asks you to come to her room. She sits you down and in very blunt terms breaks the problem down to you.
Without realizing you have blurred the line between being the friendly adviser and the judgmental person who is unkind and unforgiving to anyone with a less stellar style than yours. To your utter horror you have become a fashion police, your mother points out, who has started laughing and mocking other's fashion choices when it was no business of yours.
As your eyes fill with tears your mother further elucidates that your aunt was very hurt when you made fun of her mismatched sari and blouse the other day at a party in front of everyone. Then she also points out that you mercilessly troll your friends for one sartorial misstep and call them out on it.
That's probably because all of us know one such person. The line between being fashionable and being judgmental about being fashionable has become blurred in the age of social media where every person can make their voice heard.
Catty remarks about one's poor fashion choices, gossiping about it endlessly has become a common practice, and yet we strive for inclusivity, we are zero tolerant of discrimination. Fashion is all about having fun and yet our relentless pursuit of perceived perfection has replaced the fun with derision.
So, the next time you find yourself mocking someone's fashion choices, take a step back. Give that person a break and reserve your unsolicited opinion to make way for acceptance, kindness, and encouragement. Fashion has always embraced diversity and differences. High time for us to do the same!