Today’s world is a material one wherein everyone wants to be a star. Yet, it’s not only adults who aspire to and seek inspiration from all things celebrity (where they travel, where they dine and, of course, what they wear). A trend long-ago established in Classical times, to try to emulate those you admire was commonplace even when simple plumbing was not. However, when young, the desire to in a way become one’s favorite celebrity, to attempt to copy what they have (and aspire to get that for oneself later on) is a need near all-consuming. Who doesn’t remember trying out hairstyles and questionable fashion choices during the tween and teen years just because a favored celeb appeared in a paparazzi shot in the latest gossip magazine wearing the same and looking utterly fabulous?
Social Media Influencers
Nevertheless, inspiration doesn’t come so much from costly weekly or monthly publications on the newsstand anymore, but rather from online and from social media, the new wave in influencers on Instagram skyrocketing materialism in the young and sending fashion sales through the roof both in the mainstream and via resale platforms like Depop. These are the new celebrities, a commodity in themselves. Meanwhile, high street stores and malls and department stores attempt to keep up with what’s “hot” in children’s and teenage fashion in 2017.
Of course, celebrities stay on trend through careful PR, posing at fashion shows and receiving freebies from different labels to promote their products (just like influencers). Their lives are not reality in any sense, but try telling that to a hormonal 13 year old who feels they simply can’t go on without that pair of jeans.
Nonetheless, there is another trend creeping up in kids’ fashion, born from a latent narcissism that seems to be present in more and more parents: baby fashion. Indeed, new parents fed for the last few years pre-procreation on an increasingly selfie-taking lifestyle are apparently desperate for “mini me” fashion, what with mother-and-daughter matching outfits deemed to be rather adorable, where mom can be decked out in either mainstream or outlet-sourced Versace with infant on the hip in Nickis baby versace too (feeling a little like a Cindy Crawford in training), and father and son near-impossible to tell apart in their polo shirts and chinos.
However, isn’t this obsession in some way admirable? Aren’t the young always told to present their best selves? And don’t parents eventually want their post-college sons and daughters to attend interviews almost magazine perfect in every way?
For this purpose, then, tween and teen preoccupation with self-image can only be deemed positive. Indeed, inspired by successful influencers (but, as yet, not at a follower level that has them head-hunted by brands), the young’s current craze for buying coveted items of fashion affordably or (preferably) cheaply and then, given their popularity, selling them at profit on resale platforms, including older models like eBay and Etsy, is surely unparalleled training for the next generation in the essentials of entrepreneurism and good business sense.