My PNA

Ok, don't judge me on this, I have to do it for Uni. I have to post my Personal Narrative Article on this blog. Wow, great first entry :P


Gucci, Estée Lauder or…happiness?


I arrive at Melbourne city Target at 8 am in the cold and dreary morning simply to purchase one item of Stella McCartney’s fashion range for Target. However, the moment those steel doors open, the flurry of the overly excited women comes to life, their elbows jamming into my sides and stomach, their faces distorted by the sheer concentration of making it into the store before the woman in front. And what for? For a piece of cloth with a famous label? Well, yep. Welcome to the world of women and fashion.

Unfortunately for us girls, the current emphasis on beauty and being ‘trendy’ is constantly being emphasised by the relentless stream of fashion magazines, ‘do it yourself’ beauty formulas and the general importance of ‘appearing’ stylish and well put together. However, why does the way you dress have to indicate the class you belong to, or the type of friends you have? Look, I’ll be honest. I too am a fashion victim and trust me, I understand the mad desire to obtain the Chanels and the Versaces of the world. The other day, I was walking down one of the charming alley ways we have here in Melbourne CBD, when I noticed an outlet for expensive label clothing like Gucci, Fendi etc. I went crazy. I thought I’d finally be able to afford a genuine pair of Versace jeans! Alas, it was not be, as this ‘outlet’ store was definitely the most expensive one I’d ever been in. So trust me when I say that when a woman possesses an original Chloé handbag, she is immediately envied. Unfortunately, for the majority of us, splurging on a $3,000 bag will continue to remain a dream. About a year ago, when I actually managed to find a ‘vintage’ original Chanel handbag, I noticed that admitting to that fact does inspire a little spark of jealousy and admiration in a fellow woman.

Another thing I have observed is that women often tend to dress according to the environment they circulate in; I, as a uni student, try to wear pretty and fashionable clothes, but due to my, shall we say, lack of finances, I often have to resort to good old jeans and a comfortable hoodie. However, in the workforce, there is a definite unspoken rule as to what is appropriate and what is not. In some offices, women have to wear well tailored and modest skirt suits; in others, women must dress according to fashion, while in others still, women are expected to wear as little clothing as possible. Clothing is an important part of our lives and whether we like it or not, we are often judged by what we choose to wear, and what we choose to represent us externally.

Ah, and of course, this leads us onto the issue of identity and confidence. Clothing offers an opportunity for any woman to choose which outward identity she will adopt, simply by the cut, feel, and price of a garment. Personally, I love feeling like a princess. So, whenever I buy a 100% silk shirt, I know that I look feminine, stylish and rich (I have a lot of satin and silky tops, by the way); whereas someone who wears ripped jeans (not the intentionally ripped ones, of course, as they are considered urban chic) or a very short, very tight mini skirt with a sloppy, skimpy halter neck top is straight away labelled as ‘cheap’ and, well, ‘lacking in virtue’.

Unfortunately, (I am also guilty of this) us girls tend to judge ourselves and other women somewhat quickly, based on our and their clothing, makeup, accessories and hair. It is interesting how much we think that outward appearance contributes to our happiness and fulfilment. Everyday I get up, and I really hope that my hair looks ok, or that I haven’t suddenly broken out into a million pimples (oh, the teenage battles), as if it’s going to significantly change my life. It’s really not. So then, why do we still place value on the only part of us guaranteed to fade with age?

A few weeks ago, after using an especially strong face cream, my skin erupted in what seemed like raw and red patches of swollen flesh; I cried, I panicked, I made sure to wear plenty of makeup and my best outfits for those two horrible days to make up for my ‘gross’ face. In the end, it turned out no one had even noticed it. After thinking about why this incident had affected my opinion of myself so drastically, I realised that seeing all those ads of women and celebrities with ‘perfect’ skin and killer, designer clothes had really narrowed my outlook. Yes, it may sound clichéd, and it has been said before, but girls across the world can hopefully realise that while experimenting with (designer) clothes and makeup is fun, we shouldn’t really stake our self esteem on them. In the end, it’s good to know that people really do see us for more than what we appear outwardly, even though initially it may not seem so.

So the next time you decide to spend hundreds of dollars on a singular item of clothing, just think about its value and whether it will make you truly happy. And, as I have learnt from my many bargain hunting trips for designer haven, the best things in life really do come cheap and contain flair; like a good heart and a killer sense of humour.

3 comments:

ff_fanatic98 said...

HIIIIIIIIIIII

Viet-My said...

Okay, firstly, a little proofreading:
- formulae*
- don't put quote marks around 'appearing'
- don't say 'etc'
- in which they circulate* (and maybe circulate isn't the right word?)
- 'based on our and their' <-- clumsy
- say 'okay', or 'O.K.'
- put brackets around 'It's really not', as it sounds more like an aside
- 'stake our self esteem on them' <-- clumsy

Commentary:
I like. :) It's very you. I can imagine you using those precise words to articulate every day events while in the throes of passionate conversation with me. A few very minor irks (as above), but otherwise pretty clean.

And you managed to slide in the somewhat clichéd moral without sounding corny. Rather, you made it sound quite sophisticated and level-headed.

I just wish you'd take in your own apparent advice about not caring about brands and whatever. =P

V. said...

hooray, i am now appropriately named.