Slogan Nation

Everywhere we look we are bombarded with advertising slogans often coupled with images of the life we’re suppose to want/crave and envy others possessing.

I am not accustomed to thinking too long and hard about this, except recently I saw a grey sweater in a store window one stone cold morning.

Cliché was scrawled across the chest.

What is the point of wearing that? I asked myself while wondering why anyone would want women wearing such a sweater in the first place?

I have subsequently discovered there’s a clothing company called Cliché.

Ooh touché(!)

Ooh touché(!)

In the early eighty when Vivian Westwood was a young trendsetting punk, she created a collection of tees with slogans printed across them, some of these slogans were considered political and others rebellious. These types of t-shirts have continued to exist, often playing on or into stereo-types, confessionals,  jokes and recycled messages.

However, from this came another revolution in clothing, far more odious: ‘advertise wear’. Advertisers have successfully utilised a simple garment and got the public to pay for the privilege of advertising everything from films to Nike. Of course I get that things needs to be advertised and publicised. I am not being critical of this per se but how companies have successfully co-oped the public into becoming walking bill boards. There is something indescribably disturbing about this, y’know, when you really think about it.

Some years ago I rolled my eyes while watching a protestor giving a televised interview at a anti-capitalist rally wearing a Jack Daniel Whiskey shirt, Levi jeans, and Nike sneakers. Perhaps this rebel wannabe though it truly the height of irony to be seen dressed this way. But I suspect not, given some of his inarticulate almost glib answers and resorts he gave to the reporter while his arm draped over his equally ‘trendy’ and pseudo-radical girlfriend’s shoulders.

But what’s shocking is what people are prepared to wear without reflecting upon the influence it may have on others, and how in turn it may affect how others may perceive them (the wearer). Of course the self-appointed fashionista have always had the ability to fool people, especially woman in particular into believing what is going to make them look good. Reality conveniently ignored.

So, wear whatever you want, but do so consciously. And if you do choose to be a human bill board, consider carefully what it is you are advertising!

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