Monday, April 23, 2012

Accessories as Armor?

I happened upon an interesting blog post by Soho Accessories.  It referenced a University of Canterbury study supporting the theory that women who are insecure about their bodies are prone to collecting accessories.  Apparently, piling on the belts, jewelry, hats, handbags, and shoes (but mostly the bags and shoes) distracts others from a woman's figure while at the same time making the woman feel as if she's in the same league as a fashion model.  (It's models, after all, who wear those brand-spanking-new heels in the magazines and department store posters.)  Arguments such as this are hardly groundbreaking.  We've all heard the one surrounding makeup, i.e. that society makes women feel bad about their faces by encouraging them to obscure their features with paint and potions.  Yet despite my been-there-done-that attitude toward pop culture treatises on beauty, I remained disturbed to read about a study reducing fashion, which many consider to be a healthy form of self expression, to an ugly little defense mechanism.  If the wearing of a single bangle to accentuate a delicate wrist is acceptable, then is piling on a whole rainbow of bracelets a subconscious attempt to hide said wrist, and therefore an act to be pitied?  I was struck by the irony of my accessory-collecting-and-making self asking such questions and was even more aware that I'd first been introduced to the conundrum by another accessory retailer.  That having been said, I can see why Soho Accessories posted about the study.  It's thought-provoking (it certainly got me talking!), which is just another way of saying that there's no such thing as bad press.  In that vein, I don't think that a few (hundred) pairs of shoes ever hurt anyone.  Unless, of course, they're giving you blisters :)


Valerie said...

Interesting study, Tracy. And if the conclusions they reached really are true-I agree with what you said. Owning lots of accessories never did hurt anyone. It's better than over eating, which is what many women with poor self image do.

This is very thought provoking! And hopefully it's good for our businesses too:)

Jewel Divas Style said...

A lot of "experts" show us ways of hiding big/small boobs, big/small hips, big/small waist by dressing a certain way. Isn't that the same?

My mother has often said to me, "couldn't you fit any more on?" in reference to the amount of jewellery I sometimes wear.

My answer, "yeah, I could have!"

I love jewellery. Any jewellery designer who doesn't wear it shouldn't be making it quite frankly, and I don't care for some uneducated idiot's opinion on something they clearly know nothing about.

Love the pics by the way.