Essay No. 9:
“Lure Of Fashions”, Fashions represent new style in different things like hair, clothes and shoes etc. changing styles entice people. They like to adopt fashions to gain prominence in society. The elite classes are in the vanguard of fashions. They are crazy about fashions. By adopting new styles, they display their superiority over others.
A sort of competition starts among the moneyed class people to adopt fashions. The elite classes are the first to adopt new styles in clothes, jewellery, shoes etc. and that places them in a situation of social advantage. Once a particular fashion becomes popular, it gains a footing in society. It leads to a sort of craze which is developed into a cult to be followed by every Tom, Dick and Harry. Fashions entice people who are affected by them in varying degrees.
People demand innovation, newness in things. This desire of the people gives birth to new styles, new fashions in a society. In a way, it helps widen the cycle of progress. Every year the design of cars of different make is changed. The old models are replaced with new ones and those who have the necessary purchasing power to go in for the latest model to avail them of the latest technology, affording maximum driving pleasure to the riders.
This desire of the people gives economic incentives to the manufacturers to improve the models of automobiles every year. That is how the cycle of innovation goes on in an industrial society, leading to refinements in the manufacture of consumer goods. People want innovation in every sphere of economic activity.
It is the desire of the consumer which is met by the modern producer. He is a slave of the wishes of the consumer. He would produce consumer goods which are demanded by the consumer. The consumer is compared to a sovereign king in a market economy. Producers, however, try to reduce his sovereignty by bringing about a change in the scale of his preferences through advertisement, hoardings etc. the poor consumer faces advertisement, hoardings everywhere in big cities and is forced to opt for the consumer goods manufactured by manufacturers.
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The underlying force behind this is the desire of people to get things improved in design, shape to adopt the changing style in different consumer goods. Fashions inspire people to demand to change styles in a free market economy. One may say that fashions reflective of newness in styles go a long way in raising the level of income of the artisans engaged in pioneering them. It is a plus point of fashions that they give a boost to different types of economic activities in society.
Fashions spread to the lower strata of society. The poor also vainly desire for changing styles, which they can not afford. It generates frustration in the lower strata of the population and it is not a healthy sign. In the craze for fashions, many immoral acts in the form of thefts, dacoities are committed, and that encourages crime. This is applicable to Pakistan Society, which is greatly subject to this tendency. Crimes are committed mostly in the name of poverty. Sometimes craze for fashions induces low-income group to commit crimes to satisfy their innate desire for adopting fashionable trends.
People, who can afford fashions to adopt, should run after them. Those whose means do not permit should refrain from adopting fashions as that could put them to an embarrassing position. But restrictions can not be placed on the poor to the desire for fashions.
The solid, the meaningful appear to be above fashions. Their internal strength is the forte in life. Scientists of repute, novelists are not much fascinated by fashions. They are given silently to their pursuits. Albert Einstein was above fashions. He grew long hair and wore a simple dress. The research was his fashion. Let every person draw inspiration from the lives of great men that it is not fashion but a cause that endears a person to live. Fashionable persons are like a porcelain jar with outer beauty and glaze but from inside hollow, frequented by insects of different kinds.
Islam gives us the message of simplicity. We should be men of deeds in life. Fashions do not impart this trait to us.