Saturday, March 4, 2017

Is Fashion Unspiritual?

In many cultures, interest in fashion and beauty is considered empty and superficial. The stereotype many of us have about deep or spiritual people is that they meditate all day while wearing simple robes. Because of course we're supposed to live an ascetic lifestyle all by ourselves, instead of enjoying material life. Fashion and beauty is for vain, superficial people who just want attention.

Or so the story goes.

Personally, I am interested in both fashion and spirituality, and I think the two can go hand in hand just fine. Still, sometimes I find myself judging others for posting so many pictures of makeup or outfit posts. I also hesitate, from time to time, whenever I want to post something fashion-related on this blog. In my heart, however, I know that is silly. I think it's because of the misconceptions we have in our society.

In many religious groups, money and material things are seen as something bad and corrupted. I do think money and fashion can cause people to become selfish, but definitely not everyone. After all, we all need to buy some things and we all need to wear something! I think another reason why so many people look down on fashion and makeup, is that it's typically seen as something for women. In our old value system, women were often seen as inferior to men. Some patterns from those days still linger, and as a result, feminine things are sometimes still assigned less value. This is, in my opinion, a subjective judgement. What makes a football match better than a fashion show?

I agree that material items definitely shouldn't be our priority. In the end, happiness can only be found inside of ourselves. Our modern day consumerism is painful for our beautiful planet, but also for our souls. It keeps us buying more and more stuff, trying to compensate for inner unhappiness, instead of focusing on our spiritual development.

And the last thing I'm supporting is the emphasis on unhealthy and unrealistic beauty ideals that our modern media promotes, making people forget that they're actually perfect stardust children. But for me and many others, fashion is not about fitting into beauty standards at all, or about impressing other people.

Quite the opposite!

Of course I can't speak for other people, but since I was young, for me fashion seems to work like an extension of my inner self. I use it to express what I look like on the inside, what my soul looks like. Everyone around me wore black, but since I was so sensitive, such dark colors made me feel sad. Though sometimes I didn't feel positive, I knew that my soul was really colorful, so I wore all the colors of the rainbow. And I still do. To me, I don't think there are many things more spiritual than manifesting your inner self in the world around you. I believe that is the very reason why our souls went here, why our Source made this material world for us.

The reason why I dress the way I do is not to impress people or show them how fashionable I am. Rather, it's simply being myself. Surrounding myself in lovely colors and cute motifs lifts me up immediately. To me, it's like a morning ritual. By dressing up, I'm preparing myself to show the best version of myself throughout the rest of the day. This positive intention helps me to shine and be kind to others.

But of course, even when you just wear what you want, others will still react to it. Some people have told me they disliked what I was wearing, or gossiped about me because of it. But I also received many compliments. What makes me the happiest, is that some people tell me that the clothes I wear cheer them up. They see that you are being yourself and your style is something new in everyday life.

Have you ever seen someone in public, maybe someone with brightly dyed hair, an alternative fashion style, or just super comfortable baggy clothes that say "I don't care how I look", and their sense of uniqueness immediately gave you a breath of inspiration? Maybe it gave you a little bit more courage to be yourself.

By being ourselves, I think we inspire other people to so the same. They think: "hey, if that random person can stop conforming to the norm, why not me?" You allow your true colors to shine through with the fabric you wear.

That brings me to another reason why I think fashion is, in fact, spiritual. Psychologists and spiritual teachers alike have noted the effect of colors on our mood. When you wear a piece of clothing, its color surrounds you for most of the day, so I think your clothes can definitely affect your mood. That's why, if it sounds useful to you, you can use them as a tool to stay in a high vibration.

What colors to wear depends entirely on your own preferences! Everyone is different, so everyone feels attracted to different colors. However, it might be fun to look at the different meanings or effects of colors, like this chart, and experiment with it. Every color can have positive or negative influences, depending on your character. If you want to make it even more "spiritual", you could even dress in the colors of a chakra you want to stimulate or heal! Lastly, Zodiac signs are also often assigned colors, so it might be fun to experiment with that, too.

I think accessories can also help you stay in a high vibration. The most obvious example is crystal jewelry. Crystals are not only beautiful, but they are often considered to be powerful healing friends that can assist you on your path. However, I think every piece of jewelry that cheers you up or has a special meaning to you is, in the end, spiritual! In my experience, jewelry with an inspiring quote or a meaningful symbol can definitely serve as a reminder to choose love over fear. A bit like a tattoo, maybe!

I don't think standing out in the crowd makes you egocentric or arrogant. It simply makes you authentic. Instead of hiding your true colors, you are honest about who you are on the inside. And that, in my opinion, is extremely valuable. Because how can we, in our societies, ever learn how to accept each other's differences when we cannot even show them? Tolerating other people even when their practices don't speak to you is one of the most important spiritual lessons we'll ever learn on this planet. So why not walk around in the clothes that you really like and be a spiritual teacher in the process?

But what about the material aspects of fashion? The modern day fashion industry is causing huge problems for the mental and physical health of textile workers and cotton farmers, and for our planet. These days, in my culture it's really normal to buy piles of cheap clothes produced in sweatshops and then hardly even wear half of them. I agree that that might not be a very spiritual attitude towards clothing.

But thankfully you don't need to do that! There are other options. In thrift stores, I often find lots of cute clothes that still look completely new and are even cheaper than Primark or H&M. Often thrift stores actually give their profits to charity and none of the things you buy put any burden on our environment. Also, some brands (like this one - maybe do a Google search if you're interested) also make organic clothing with cotton that doesn't poison farmers or textile workers.

However, if you do go to a "fast fashion" clothing chain and see an item you absolutely love, in my opinion I think you can still buy it, but it's best if you know for sure that you will wear it often and that you'll be able to wear it for a long time. That way you limit your ecological and humanitarian footprint. But I know it's really hard to know for sure while you're in the store! Fear not, there are ways to decide.

If you aren't sure whether you should really buy that funky top or cute skirt, you can simply leave the store and say: "Universe, if this clothing item is meant for me, please make sure it's still in the store next time I go here. If it's gone by then, I'll know it's not meant for me". That way, you still have time to think it over at home without worrying it will be gone. To get a reliable answer more quickly, you could also look up an oracle card website on your phone.

With makeup it's the same. Yes, many brands test on animals and use harmful products. But there are also shops that don't do that, like the Body Shop and Lush. I've heard people complain that makeup is bad because you're hiding your face and "lying to men". 

I don't think that could be any further from the truth. While I believe our faces are works of art, what your face looks like naturally is not really something you can do much about, so in the end it doesn't say that much about your personality or what your soul looks like. However, because of makeup we have more choices on how to express our inner selves with our face.

I think makeup is a creative outlet, a form of art. And when you make a painting, it's not because you think the canvas is so ugly you just want to hide it, right? It's because you want to create something and express yourself in the process! This doesn't mean I am literally comparing our faces to blank canvases. I think our natural faces are beautiful in themselves, so it should be completely up to us whether we want to wear makeup or not. All I'm saying is that makeup can, and usually does, function as a creative outlet for self-expression. It's a process of co-creation with the Universe, who gave you your beautiful face to do with it what you want.

I think there are still plenty of other reasons why being fashionable doesn't make you "unspiritual", so feel free to let me know if you have another one!

Wishing you a fantastic and magical week,

~Mayte ଘ(੭*ˊᵕˋ)੭*

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