Are We Frozen in Time?

As I was sitting at the spa last week, I decided to leaf through a glossy magazine. I hadn’t read one in years, and it seemed like this kind of reading would complete my spa experience. (Everybody deserves a chance to shed the intellectual burden and be stupidified every once in a while, OK? I’ve got enough facetious comments about this in RL, so no more are needed.) In that magazine, I alighted upon a very curious article that analyzed the trends in fashion, music, home décor, cars, etc.

The article pointed out that, during the XXth century, every 20 years or so brought profound changes in these areas of human existence. Think about clothes, for example. Could you wear the same clothes and sport the same hairdo in 1976 and in 1996? In 1950 and 1970? And what about pop music? Aren’t the differences between what people listened to in 1938 and 1958 or 1958 and 1978 glaring?

Now consider the past twenty years. See any changes there? Right you are, there are none. I could easily wear all of my clothes from 1991 today (if I could fit into them, that is), and nobody would think me strange. And we are not talking about a return of the fashion from the early 1990ies. There simply was no moment during the past 20 years when fashion changed in any significant way. I have clothes that are 10-12 years old and I still wear them on occasion. And every single time, I have to tell people how old my outfit is because nobody can guess just from looking at it.

Or take music. Is what you heard on the radio 10, 15, 20 years ago really all that different from what you listen to today? Can anybody spot 3 differences between Madonna and Lady Gaga? I can barely find one.

Hairstyles, facial hair, the way the cars look – none of these things have changed dramatically in the past 20 years.

I’ve thought about it for a while and I have developed a hypothesis as to why these areas of our lives seem frozen in time. I’ll provide my answer in the next post but, for now, I’d like to know what my readers think.

Have you noticed the phenomenon I’m talking about? How do you explain it? Or do you think there is no such phenomenon?

Why Do Some Women Care About Fashion?

I read this post a while ago but I haven’t been able to put it out of my mind because it is too funny and too stupid at the same time:

My observation from talking to women of a wide variety of backgrounds and interests is that much of what happens in the general category of women and beauty is completely divorced from men. . . My question, though, is who is the real audience here? Most guys I know would prefer to see their wife or girlfriend in jeans and a t-shirt. Red carpet dresses, the ones on which many women are fixated, look like space suits to the male eye. We are trained to say the right thing about all kinds of things that are “girl cute” but really have no bearing on whether or not, from a male perspective, a woman is attractive.

It is really cute to see a person discover the wheel for the very first time and try to share this exciting new knowledge with the world.

Yes, people of all genders who are interested in fashion practice this hobby for the sake of enjoyment it gives them and not for an “audience.” Just like a gamer plays because s/he digs it and a book lover reads for fun, a fashion-conscious person enjoys the process of practicing this hobby.

I’m very interested in fashion, make-up, beauty treatments, etc. This interest obviously has nothing to do with trying to attract any men (or women.) As everybody probably knows already, I am completely besotted with N. who thinks I’m a ravishing beauty no matter what I look like at any given point. The days when I experiment with make-up are usually the days when I don’t even leave home at all. Applying make-up and constructing outfits is a great relaxation technique that I can highly recommend to anybody.

Referring to fashion as “stuff over which women obsess” is not only offensive and wrong. It is also very stupid. There are many fashion-conscious men who are into fashion for the same reason that women are: it’s their hobby that they enjoy.

The post’s author is incapable of realizing these simple truths because he is stuck on his Earth-shattering discovery:

I think there is certainly some part that women are doing to themselves in which we [men] really have no involvement.

Imagine that. And here we all thought that women couldn’t do anything at all without male involvement. Of course, the post’s author couldn’t accept this scary reality, so he decided to insert himself into the process by hectoring women on the dangers of “beauty obsession.”

The post offers a fitting conclusion:

I am not a women. I can’t really say if beauty is an addiction. Where I come from, addiction is a self-diagnosed disease. But from the outside it makes a certain amount of sense. I see women spending endless time on things that to most men seem insane (another trademark of addiction).

Of course, I don’t think that anybody can be “a women” but who cares about a small thing like grammar when you can engage in this kind of obnoxious navel-gazing? Beware, fashion-lovers everywhere, somebody called Tom Matlack thinks your hobby “seems insane.” And things that seem insane to Tom Matlack must count as an addiction.

From my side, I can say that to me publishing this kind of stupid articles “seems insane.” I will still not go as far as claiming that this blogger has an addiction.

This Good Men Project keeps publishing one piece after another of this kind of disappointing meaningless drivel.

Who Buys All That Zara Stuff?

Who could have thought that Zara could have possibly made its owner so rich? Just look at number 7 on this list of the richest people in the world:

In Spain, Zara is looked down upon as a chain that offers clothing for moneyless wannabes and poor housewives. In the US and Canada, many people have no idea of the contempt Zara evokes in Europe, so they buy the brand as if it represented some sort of high fashion. What is surprising to me is that Zara is the only clothing brand that got its owner on the list of the richest people in the world.

Am I missing something here? Is Zara a lot more popular than I thought it was?