A Project for Better Journalism chapter

Does fashion matter?

When you hear the word fasion, you might think of tall blonde models walking the runway, brands that cost thousands of dollars or movies like The devil Wears Prada.The stereotypical view on fashion is that it is an artificial thing. However, fashion is about way more than the way you look.

Monzerrat Diaz (Div. 732) walks into class everyday with her makeup done, hair silky straight and her clothes designed to impress. Many high school students don’t have the patience or time to come all glam to school. It takes time and effort to achieve one of Diaz’s signature looks.

“I usually dress up for myself,” Diaz said.

Diaz uses her clothing and makeup as a way of making herself have a nice day. She doesn’t care about the opinions others have about her fashion and makeup. For many like Diaz, fashion makes them feel good about themselves. Fashion can promote creativity, which I think is very important in culture, society, and religion. It can also make you look and feel more professional.

“You can never satisfy others, so I say do whatever you want,” Diaz said.

She has been told many times that she wears too much makeup or is “extra” when it comes to how she puts herself together, but she still encourages others to express themselves as long as they’re not uncomfortable.

Roberto Rodriguez, a senior at Kelly High School who is gay and proud, used fashion a way of coping with being different. “I love using pinks in my outfits! It’s the one color that everyone thinks is meant for girls only. I want to help break that gender stereotype,” Rodriguez said.

Clothing does not have a gender; it is all just labels inflicted onto us by society.

Our generation has slowly been more accepting of diverse and unique styles. Now, if we we were more creative with everything that we do, including the way that we dress, it could makes us more creative in school and work.  This gives others the motivation to choose who you want to be and express it through any fashion you want.

Abby Pavesich (Div. 023) stands out with her short pink hair. Her flannels and controversial t-shirts are her way of making a statement to those around her. Once people understand that it is okay that your clothes look different from other people’s and they start to enjoy looking different and/or having a “signature” style they will become a lot less stressed about how they look and won’t feel as much pressure to look like everyone else.

“I like to dress in guy or girl clothes. It doesn’t matter what you’re wearing, clothing isn’t a way for others to label you,” Pavesich said. She ignores those that label her and radiates confidence in the way she carries and expresses herself. It doesn’t matter what she is wearing, she does it with confidence.

“Do you! You want to dye your hair? Do it. You want to cut it? Why not? It doesn’t matter what others think of you as long as you do what makes you feel comfortable,” Pavesich said. These encouraging words express Pavesich’s open-minded mentality and acceptance.

Curie art teacher Daniel Estep is hard to go past without noticing the sleeve of tattoos inked on his skin and the gauges on his ears. To some, he might come off as intimidating and maybe a little edgy, but he’s really just a simple guy.

“When I first started working here, I would try to cover up. I was scared the students and co-workers might view my tattoos negatively,” Estep said.

Tattoos are a form of expression and are protected from criminal law by the United States Constitution, but are not federally protected in the workplace. It’s not that easy getting hired when you look different, but that isn’t something Estep cares about anymore. He freely flaunts his tattoos and ear gauges with confidence.

“It becomes a part of who you are. You just have to not care what others think about you,” Estep said.

Estep is very carefree and rarely pays much attention to the new trends, what looks good or bad or what he even wears. As an art teacher, he likes to encourage and inspire students to express their creativity in whatever art form they would like.

“I’d say fashion is a great platform for the younger generation to express themselves,” he said.

At Curie, our students and staff have shown support of our own creativity and that’s what is great about having the freedom to tell others what you feel or what you want them to feel when they look at you.

Fashion is a broad platform but to all of us it gives us the ability to challenge the norms and find ourselves. If you feel like you can’t do something or wear something because you’re afraid of getting judged then it’s time for you to step outside of your comfort zone and find yourself.