How Life-Changing Events Change Your Self-Identity in the World of Fashion
From the moment you’re born, you start to develop your sense of self. Your self-identity is how you perceive yourself in every facet… occupation, style, personality, and overall lifestyle. The way we look, or our appearance, is something we largely base our self-identity on, and when a life-changing event happens to us, whether good or bad, it inherently alters how we view ourselves.
The good news is that the shift in our self-identity can be for the better, but there’s always that potential for a negative shift that can lead to mental issues like depression, anxiety, and low self-esteem. One of the biggest contributors to how we see ourselves is fashion and style.
You may not realize it, but your personal sense of style plays a major role in how you conduct yourself every day and it determines whether or not you like what you see in the mirror. Why do you think the saying “when you look good, you feel good,” resonates with so many people?
It’s because it’s true… When you buy a new outfit or a new pair of shoes and you look good in them, it makes you feel good. And when you combine new clothes and shoes with freshly manicured nails or a fresh haircut, you feel even better about yourself.
Fashion designers toil back and forth in their minds about this all the time in the aspect of how they want their brand to be perceived. For example, they may know that Wunderlabel hang tags are the best if they want their brand to project quality but they may have a hard time figuring out the “look” of the type of person they want wearing their clothes.
This form of self-validation through the clothes you wear is called “enclothed cognition.” The Journal of Experimental Social Psychology tells us that enclothed cognition is the influence of clothing on your psychological processes.
The interesting thing about how influenced we are by the clothes we wear is that the tiniest or most minuscule thing can trigger a shift in our perception of ourselves. Something as simple as posting a picture that you thought was cute but it only received four “likes” on social media can make someone’s self-perception take a negative turn.
But if small triggers like that can impact someone’s self-perception, just imagine what it can do when a life-changing event happens… And as odd as it may sound to you, your personal sense of style and fashion plays a major role in these life-changing events.
Life-Changing Events That Alter Self-Identity in the World of Fashion
With a lot of major surgeries, they’re either done to improve a medical problem or for aesthetic purposes, but nonetheless, they do play a part in how you look and dress.
After major surgeries, whether for aesthetics or for medical purposes, most aren’t able to wear the clothes they used to wear because the doctor requires you to wear comfortable-fitting clothes. Because surgery is not allowing you to get back to your old stylish self, it can make some people feel less-than about themselves.
Now, for some people, major surgeries like breast reduction or breast implants require special preparation and even certain lifestyle changes, but once the surgery is completed and the patient is completely healed, that patient has a whole new lease on confidence. Some will go out and buy an entirely new wardrobe to show off their new and improved body!
Starting a Family
For some people, when you’re single, you dress in a way to draw attention to yourself to attract your mate. Once you attract your mate and get into a relationship or get married, the way you used to dress may not be acceptable to your partner anymore, or society for that matter. And once you start to have children, couples tend to suppress their personal sense of style only because of how they don’t want to be perceived by other couples and other parents.
Couples who make these personal style changes sometimes live to regret it. Just because you start a family, that doesn’t mean you necessarily have to change the way you dress, especially not for the validation of others, but a lot of times, people do.
Weight Loss/Weight Gain
Weight loss is something that typically makes people happy and completely changes their perception of themselves in a positive way. They’re not only happy to be losing weight, but they’re also inspired to maintain their healthier lifestyle so they can FINALLY wear the clothes they’ve always wanted to wear but were too heavy for.
Weight gain typically has the opposite effect, causing people to view themselves in a negative light. Depending on the amount of weight gain, it can cause your clothes to fit a little tight or where you can’t fit your clothes at all.
When weight gain of that magnitude happens, people will resort to wearing “comfortable” clothes like sweat suits or baggy clothes. The thing that people fail to realize is that people come in all different sizes and shapes, and that’s okay. There are beautiful clothes out there for larger sizes.
You don’t have to be a size five to be considered beautiful… and if you’re unhappy with your weight gain, you don’t have to stay at the size that makes you unhappy. Unfortunately, some people’s self-identity has been altered to a point of no return, making them unwilling to make the changes they so desire.
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