Fashion is no longer the monopoly of women. Even men have great fancy for it. In fact, the latest uni-sex dresses like shirts and jeans can be worn both by the girls and the boys.
Today, the biggest centres of the latest fashions in the world are Paris, London, Hollywood and New York. In India, Mumbai, Delhi, Chandigarh, Lucknow, Jaipur, Shimla etc. have become centres of high fashion. Students generally try to copy fashions from films.
Fashion has permeated all spheres of our life. It is followed not only in clothes but also in hair-styles, shoes, etiquette or manners. Some people are content to wear fashionable clothes. Others go in for fashionable hair-styles. Still others adopt the latest trend in their speech and manner. All these people want to look impressive and attract the attention of others. They want to look different in the eyes of others.
Fashion is neither stable nor eternal. It is ever-changing. The change in fashion takes place so fast that people sometimes find it very difficult to catch up with it.
Students in India also have become quite fashion conscious. In a college campus, one can see both girls and boys wearing all types of clothes. Girls wear whatever their favourite heroines wear. Boys try to emulate their favourite heroes.
Fashion knows no frontiers. It travels across countries very fast. When students in India see latest foreign films from Hollywood, they adopt the latest fashions from these films. They even imitate the way of life, speech, manners, actions, clothes, hair-styles of their favourite foreign actors and actresses.
Some students spend a lot of money and devote considerable time on their make-up. They neglect their studies. Their books gather dust. These students hardly realise that by neglecting their studies, they are ruining their own career. Students often seem to suffer from a mistaken notion that fashion means wearing clothes and other costly items like jewellery, etc. The fact is that sometimes expensive clothes and heavy make-up may prove counterproductive. It may even have a negative effect on one’s personality. Some people look smarter in simple clothes than in expensive clothes. As the old saying goes, beauty needs no ornaments. In fact simplicity is the best fashion,
If students pursue fashion at the cost of their education, they will be left behind in their studies. This will spoil their prospects of a bright future. If they want to be successful in life, their motto should not be fashion but ‘simple living and high thinking’.
Unfortunately, college boys and girls have started regarding even smoking as a fashion. One can see a number of boys and girls sitting in college restaurants and enjoying a smoke. Those who have costly brands of cigarette packets and imported cigarette lighters feel proud. Some students go to the extent of taking intoxicating drugs like ‘heroin’, LSD, Hashish, Marijuana, etc.
Drinking is also considered as a symbol of modern society and high fashion. These habits adversely affect the health of students. A conscious effort should be made both by the teachers and parents to dissuade their children from falling prey to these anti-social habits in the name of fashion.
No doubt fashion spreads like wild fire especially when fashion critics hail any new design as ultra modern. Slowly a fashion percolates first to the middle- class families and then to the poor strata of society. Once it becomes common, it loses its novelty. Fashion conscious boys and girls then look out for something else which is new and exclusive. But “fashion” should not be given wide meaning so as to include everything which is being followed in western countries. Due respect should be paid to one’s native country’s way of living also.
Whether the influence of western culture is a boon or a curse to the Indian youth, is a controversial topic. No culture is good or bad. After all, every culture is an educative refinement, a product of an era. It is the understanding of a culture and methods of pursuing it that can make it good or bad in the eyes of other people. Thus, it cannot be concluded that every western influence is harmful. Indian youth, instead of following the west blindly, should try to grasp the very essence of western culture and help it in enriching his own. Only then can true development take place.