I would like to introduce you to the new fashion and beauty section of The Sphinx. The new team is made up of brilliant writers brimming with ideas and I can’t wait to share their work with you, but first here’s a little column explaining what fashion and beauty means to me as a Millennial.
My parents visited me at university a few weeks ago. I should have felt nothing other than an element of excitement, yet I just couldn’t shrug a certain sinking feeling. It’s become a rather familiar sensation that follows on from the realisation that I am yet again going to have to discuss my future, or lack of. Oh the sheer dread. The line of questioning that would follow on from the familial small talk would no doubt include, “so any thoughts yet …of you know… what you’re going to do after you graduate…”
Technically I am now an adult, but so far there has always been a clear structure in place. Now however, I’ve done the gap year thing and once the exams are over next year I’m going to be, well, rather lost.
I have no idea how to navigate my way into a career and have never really known what I’ve wanted to do. I’ve always been a creative person though, that I do know. I also however know that I can’t afford to live in London, where the majority of media jobs, art galleries, and professional networks are. I also can’t afford to do unpaid internships and soon I’m going to be shackled by debt. I’m a Millennial and my quarter life crisis is looming. I recently read in The Debrief that according to psychologists more 25-year-olds are experiencing the same ‘existential angst’ normally seen in 40-year-old women, and to be honest I’m not surprised.The panic is setting in.
There is however some light in these dark rather uncertain times and that’s my love of fashion and beauty. This particular infatuation never fails to brighten my days. Make-up gives me an undeniable confidence boost. In an ideal world people wouldn’t judge others on appearance and the link between appearance and confidence wouldn’t exist, but unfortunately it does. With the right means you can however use your appearance positively, as a form of expression and to show individuality. Make-up and fashion can form a path of discovery, leading you closer to looking and feeling your best. My morning mantra of applying make-up gets me ready to face the world, its my war paint but not only that, it connects me to myself in a way that nothing else can match. Take a red lip, an emotional charge occurs when you apply red lipstick, you feel unmistakably fiercer than before.
This phenomenon is nothing new but the beauty market is now recognising that people in their 20’s are proving very powerful customers. This is not surprising in our age of social media, when we are expected to be capable of taking the perfect selfie (I am yet to master this).The pressure is on to look our best. Clinique’s new Face Forward campaign caters specifically to us Millenials. Their message is simple but poignant; ‘Dress yourself. Dream big. Find your voice. Make a promise to the future. And put it out there.’ Writer, editor and actress Tavi Gevinson 19, is one of the faces of the campaign. Defying the odds by already founding her own online magazine and having also given a global Ted talk, it’s no wonder she’s been chosen to capture our generation’s attention. A beacon of hope she faces the world wearing Clinique. On beauty and fashion she simply comments; ‘Sometimes it’s nice to wear the stuff that makes you feel good, so then you can go about your day and put your energy into making other cool stuff,’ and how right she is.
It’s not just Clinique that have associated the use of their beauty products and female fearlessness. Make-up legend Bobbi Brown has also launched Pretty Powerful, her own empowerment through make-up campaign. Her initiative also however partners with organisations that make education accessible to women and girls around the world, allowing them to also become better versions of themselves. Bobbi commented; ‘It symbolises my belief all women posses natural beauty, and with the right tools, are empowered to a higher level of pretty.’ This new level of pretty is seemingly moulded from education, self-belief and well make-up.
It’s not just make-up of course that has these effects; fashion too has immense power to inspire. It contributes to the feeling of our times and can trigger societal shifts. Gender-neutral and gender fluid ideals have become a reality in recent years, thanks to young fashion designers dispelling sexual stereotyping.
I hope to, if not fix my current crisis, at least smooth it over slightly, with my moments of escapism into a prettier world of fashion and beauty. If you’re hoping to do the same please become acquainted with this fashion and beauty section. We can use Origin’s new Quarter Life Crisis skin care range while we’re at it… oh Origins they get it.