Between Fashion and Madness | by Prosperline Onyekachi

I have always loved creativity as it depicts the ability of people to think without containment. I see such people as super humans with super cool brains and David Ogilvy clearly supports my ideology. However, I am also a firm believer in moderation. For me, creativity can get to a point where absurdity draws the dot. Read along as this is intricately discussed in subsequent paragraphs.

People tend to overdo things, especially when they have been applauded for sterling performances. I recall times in church when a sister or brother is rendering a special number, they start out well and the song flows. But they tend to go off key most times when the crowd begins to applaud. A sudden energy surges through them at the onset of the applause and they lose the key.

How about debate competitions? If you have ever attended the Jaw war of University of Ibadan, you have a perfect instance. A speaker starts out fine and gives perfect punch lines and the crowd goes wild. The moment this happens, the speaker tends to start shouting atop his voice and practically begins to sound unprofessional, like a discordant piano.

The same goes for creativity, it gets to a point that it becomes madness. An aspect this refers to in virtual and practical terms, is fashion. A wise man once said that there exists between fashion and madness, a thin line. Many cross over to the latter and never realise it. I completely agree with that man. The extent to which people go in the name of fashion calls for a psychiatric check-up.

indecent-dressingRecently on social media, Facebook to be precise, I saw a disheartening representation of fashion. A young male model, had his pants (trousers) down to his ankles, wore a matching t-shirt and struck a pose. If that is not madness, I do not know what it is. The most confusing part of it all is that these people claim such insanity to be a show of boldness or courage.

As if that was not enough, another homo-sapien practically wore a net, which to her was a dinner gown; to a dinner with no single underwear on? She claimed sophistication and boldness – self-expression. I am at a loss as to what to describe her actions as.

Do not get me wrong, I am in no way against creativity or fashion. I consider myself a fashionable person. My grievance however is the extremity of fashion. Let everything be done with moderation. You can be decent in dressing and fashionable. Contrary to public opinion, you do not have to show some flesh.

downloadI do not have to see how curvy you are or how busty or bootilicious you are in that dress before I know you have a sense of fashion. I do not have to see your chest hairs, your six packs or your waist lines when you sag, in that pants or suit or outfit before I know you are fashionable. Modesty is your most fashionable asset. Your ability to cover yourself all up and yet steal the show, shows just how sensibly creative you are.

However, when you notice that you are unduly going beyond the extra mile. When you are losing your personal principles and going against every moral code of conduct. When you begin to function below the threshold of sanity in the name of fashion, when trusted and tested friends and relatives begin to question your fashion sense, then know that you are in the process of crossing that thin line between fashion and madness. Or maybe, just maybe you have crossed it already.

Check yourself.


Prosperline Onyekachi, an essayist and social commentator, studies Communication and Language Arts at the University of Ibadan.

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