The chapter starts out with a quote from Gandhi saying that, “Only their insularity and unimaginativeness have made the English retain the English style [of dress] in India, even though they admit that it is most uncomfortable for this Indian climate. I venture to think that thoughtless imitation is no sign of progress. Nor is every reversion to old habits tantamount to accepting back the hand of time. Retracing a hasty erroneous step is surely a sign of progress.
In class we talked about how the Europeans felt a need to reinforce the “Europeanness” and how clothing was just one of the means to achieve that. That got me to think about the Indians whom have conformed to wearing European clothing to feel more accepted and become assimilated within European culture so that they can become seen as European as well. This assimilation of fashion is more than apparent still to this day. The one that comes most visibly to my mind is influence that European fashion has on the Asian fashion industry. However, the interesting thing is how there is no distinct line between the fashion and to whom it belongs. And it makes me ask the question, “Who’s imitating who?” The word FOB is not an unfamiliar term. Many people use this term loosely and it can be used for generally anything about an (particularly Asian) individual. One of the most common, however, is fashion. I hear people loosely throwing around phrases like, “She dresses fobby” all the time and after taking a glance at the girl, I’d agree. What is so different about Asian and American fashion? The basic individual pieces of clothing are the same: cardigans, T-shirts, tanks, skinny jeans, leggings, etc. It’s not only how they’re worn that seems to differentiate the two but also who the wearer is. The individual in the left is dressed similarly to the one in the right, but the response is most likely going to be different. But why? Lately, if you walk into an urban outfitters or forever 21, you see a lot oversized T-shirts, cardigans, leggings, skinny jeans, stripes, and plaid. According to the bloggers, these pieces of clothing add up to make a fobby outfit. If dressing like a FOB is so undesirable, why do these clothes exist here in the states?
Another interesting description of FOBs:
White t-shirt from Hanes (v-neck or crew – doesnt matter)
slippers (now theyre upgrading to Nikes!!)
Black plain hat
bangs with bleached tips on the side of their face
drivig Honda Civics or Acura Legends with loud fart cans
walk around saying “wassup my n*gga??” like its really cool and hip
Really REALLY tight jeans that reveal you have absolutely NO booty
Boot cut jeans so that you can showoff some cheap $5 heels that you got from the asian markets
wear make up that dont go together like some BRIGHT RED lipstick
Oh and some pale make up that will show your face is COMPLETELY whiter than your neck
Only hang around the boys listed above
and lastly, always have cigarettes ready in your Fucci purse to give to your fobby bf listed above”
What do you think about these descriptions? Agree/disagree?
In this case, do you think fashion influence is one-sided (e.g Is it America influencing Asia, Asia influencing America, or perhaps both?”) How so?
In the end, is it about the clothes or the wearer?