It's 1 pm on a Tuesday afternoon, and I'm staring at a giant pile of clean laundry in my closet, waiting to be put away. I'm getting ready to move in a few months (grad school!!!) and I'm using the move as motivation to de-clutter my life. With a lot of help from my best friend (check out her blog and follow her on Instagram! She's adorable), I have gone through my entire closet and donated three large boxes of clothes, and one medium box of shoes to Goodwill. What I allowed to stay is staring up at me from my closet floor.
As I start to hang up my newly cleansed wardrobe, I can see a trend emerging -- jeans, dark colors, sweaters and tank tops. This describes my daily uniform, which I only discovered once I had cleared away everything that didn't feel 100% authentically me. My closet is no longer filled with patterned dresses I only wore once, or that bright orange shirt I bought that one time when I was trying to "wear more color," or the pants-suit some sales associate sold me that was probably on trend for all of five minutes. Everything in my closet is filled with clothes that have stood the test of time and that make me feel amazing when I wear them.
Once everything is put away, I stand back to admire my accomplishment (and for anyone who knows me, having all my laundry clean and put away is an accomplishment). But what I see before me isn't just a closet of clothes, it's a representation of Greta, of my true self, of the person I have always been.
And it feels so f**king good.
Now you're probably wondering where the f**kboys come into this conversation. We are just talking about clothes, after all.
Remember all those clothes that I got rid of in my purge? The items that I was infatuated with when I bought them but got bored of after wearing them only twice? The pieces that went out of style after one season? There's a name for it in the fashion industry: it's called fast fashion. It's fashion that's not meant to be in style for a long time, so that by definition it requires people to shop more frequently, in order to stay "on trend." These items have no staying power whatsoever; since they aren't made to last long-term, they are usually cheaply made. Lucrative for businesses, not great for consumers' wallets.
Fast fashion is the f**kboy of the fashion industry.
(For those of you that might not be familiar with the term "f**kboy", here's one definition that I found on the internet: "A ‘f**kboy’ is a young man who sleeps with women without any intention of having a relationship with them or perhaps even walking them to the door post-sex. He’s a womanizer, an especially callous one, as well as kind of a loser.”)
Think about it: Both come with the intention of very little commitment, are usually pretty cheap, and are not made to last-long term.
But if that didn't convince you already, maybe this list will.
5 ways that fast fashion and f**kboys are the same:
1. They are both "on trend" right now.
F**kboys are a product of the "hook-up" culture phenomenon, most popular with college-age kids and 20-somethings -- casual sex with no commitment that provides instant sexual gratification without any thought of the long-term.
In a similar way, fast fashion clothing items are meant to satisfy the customer instantly, all the while having no intention of lasting longer than a season (if the clothing doesn't fall apart before then). And who are these fast fashion companies targeting? The same age group participating in "hook-up culture" (Take Forever 21 as an example...the company name says it all!)
2. They have no intention of staying long-term.
Just like that weird-looking jumpsuit that had the strange parachute pants, f**kboys are typically a one-time-only thing.
3. They complicate things.
In my experience, (with both f**kboys and fast fashion) these one-time, commitment-less experiences can cause unnecessary (mental and physical) clutter in one's life.
-Is he ever going to text me back? Anxiety.
-Why do I have no space in my closet? Frustration.
-Even though I am "on trend," why do I still feel so empty inside? Sadness.
These are just extra stresses in one's life that are avoidable and unnecessary. Since I've gotten rid of both f**kboys and fast fashion, my life feels so much less cluttered!
4. They distract you from your true self.
Again, speaking from experience, both f**kboys and fast fashion have a way of dimming one's ability to express their true, authentic self. Despite what pop-culture and the media might tell you, the commitment-less, romance-less, "friends-with-benefits" hook-up thing does not bring the self-fulfillment it promises. I used to think that no-strings-attached sex would empower me...it did the opposite. It made me feel less powerful, less sure of myself, and less fulfilled. This is the same for fast fashion. Sure, that model wearing that leopard-print halter top leather-fringed maxi-dress might be perfectly toned and smiling ear-to-ear, but it's an advertisement. You may feel cute in it now, but how are you going to feel about that $50 you spent in 3 months when no one is wearing leopard-print anymore and that same model is now wearing a latex pants-suit? Did you really buy that dress because it was authentically you or because it was "in style" at the time?
5. There are other alternatives.
Fast fashion is not the only option available to you while clothes shopping. F**kboys are not the only men out there to be involved with. Don't be afraid of commitment, whether it be to an item of clothing or to a romantic partner. Listen to yourself and strive to be authentically you -- don't think that just because it's "popular" now that it's your only choice. You have options.
We all have had f**kboys in our closets and in our beds.
I de-cluttered mine. Will you?
A 20-something trying to find what it means to be me!