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Groupthink in Fashion

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Ashley Anderson

on 14 March 2013

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Transcript of Groupthink in Fashion

03.12.13 BY: Fashion Week Social Media and Psychology Behind Fashion Ashley Anderson: Victoria Secret Fashion Show

Mackie Davis : New York Fashion Week

Kelsey Glass: Social Media and Psychology Behind Fashion

Caitlin Wells: The Affect of Fashion in Media Groupthink: Collective Rationalization in the Age of Influence Womens's Fashion in the Media VS Fashion Show VS Fashion Show Group Think- the practice of approaching problems or issues as matters that are best dealt with by consensus of a group rather than by individuals acting independently; conformity. (Dictionary.com)

Fashion week- A fashion week is a fashion industry event, lasting approximately one week, which allows fashion designers, brands or "houses" to display their latest collections in runway shows and buyers and the media to take a look at the latest trends. Most importantly, these events let the industry know what's "in" and what's "out" for the season. 1. How social media affects groupthink

2. Psychology/communication behind group think
and fashion

3. Perception of brand names

4. Diffusion of Innovations model Groupthink in Fashion Illusion of Unanimity Just the Facts VS Casting Director John Pfeiffer says, "There is a very clear VS woman. They all have the self confidence, expressiveness, joy, womanliness". Alessandra Ambrosio: 5'10" 112lbs
Marisa Miller: 5'8" 110 lbs
The Average US Woman: 5'4" 145 lbs The idealized woman in our society (these models) are 13-19% below what is considered by the CDC a healthy weight. 1 out of every 4 college aged women have an eating disorder. At the age of 17, 78% of girls are unhappy with their bodies. Something is wrong with our society's view of beauty. VS is a huge influence on that view. Illusion of Unanimity 10.3 million people tuned in to watch the past VS Fashion Show, and the number continues to get larger every year.
Most women would say they do not agree with the vision of beauty that VS portrays, but more and more people watch despite their convictions. Women tune in to complain and young girls are encouraged in their eating disorders and low self esteem. Victoria's Secret's mission statement to "empower women" is not accomplished.

Extravagant and impractical lingerie modeled by body shapes that are unattainable for the average woman for the entertainment of millions is not empowering- it is discouraging.

Our silence to this problem has done nothing but encourage a larger audience and skinnier models as the years go by.

Our silence is taken by Victoria Secret as agreement to their narrow qualifications for a beautiful woman. With no resistance to their depiction of what beauty is and the body requirements for their models, the Victoria's Secret Fashion Show continues to discourage women and attract more viewers every year. There is an illusion of unanimity. Belief in Inherent Morality of the Group Controversies of VS Fashion Show 1. In 2010, there were only 5 African American women modeling. All 5 of those models walked the runway during the "wild things" segment of the show wearing tribal attire and body paint. Controversies of VS Fashion Show 2. The Geisha Costume: modeled by ultra blonde, Candice Swaenpoel. It was an asian inspired piece from their Go East collection with a mesh bodysuit, floral patterns on bra cups and crotch, tiny floral fan, reversible obi belt, and matching chopsticks with tassels. Offended many people. Controversies of VS Fashion Show 3. Native American inspired lingerie that Karlie Kloss wore. Headdress is symbolic in Native American culture: only the most respected and revered chiefs have the honor of wearing one, with each single feather standing for a brave act. They had to fast and meditate to show their steadfastness to be able to wear this head piece.
VS pulled the outfit from broadcast and marketing materials after the magnitude of offended people. Costumes that this fashion show has created and modeled have caused many people to get offended at the level of respect and appropriateness VS has for cultures and races. They do not believe there is a "too far" because they are Victoria's Secret. They believe they have an inherent morality, and that the costumes they create will never be considered wrong. For it to happen this many times, it is obvious they are careless and have gotten "too big for their britches". Fashion week happens twice a year in the major fashion capitals of the world: Paris, Milan, New York and London. Fashion weeks are held several months in advance of the season to allow the press and buyers a chance to preview fashion designs for the following season. From January through April designers showcase their autumn and winter collections. Fashion week for spring and summer is held from September through November. This is also to allow time for retailers to arrange to purchase or incorporate the designers into their retail marketing. The latest innovations in dress designs are showcased by renowned fashion designers during these fashion weeks, and all these latest collections are covered in magazines such as Vogue. (Wikipedia) How do Groupthink and Fashion Week coincide? When it comes to Fashion Week, Groupthink could not be a better description. A bunch of designers crammed into one venue, to showcase their new lines that absolutely no one in their right mind would even consider wearing. I mean, come on. Yet, even though these awkward originals are so awful most of the time, no one can help but to swoon over them! Why is this? Groupthink.

Individually, you couldn’t catch the “average person” dead in any of these clothes. But when fashion designers get together, suddenly these clothes are the greatest invention to earth. The only time any of us ever see these clothes are on the runway, during Fashion Shows and the like. No one in their right mind would wear some of these items on a regular basis. The point of Fashion Week is to showcase the latest trends, but is this really what we want in our closet? Why do we follow fashion trends? -It shows we are in tune with societal norms. Ex. dressing nice for an interview -Choice in clothing can communicate responsibility, status, power, and the ability to be successful. It makes us look competent. -We use it to show we are part of a certain communities and/or support something. Ex. Braves Tshirts. -It is often a use of showing our social class ex. People who wear high end brand names (Michael Khors, Louis Vuitton) want to show they are of higher social status. Significance of Name Brands -A brand is not just a name; it is an emotional promise and a promise of prospective or potential benefits

-College student study in Pennsylvania Social Media and Groupthink - Facebook, instagram and pinterest are the top three media outlets related to fashion

- Facebook: we see what our friends are wearing. Symptoms of group think are rationalization and stereotyping

- Instagram: companies can create instagrams to show what their newest trend is.

- Pinterest: we are able to see what our friends are pinning

- The “women’s fashion” category is always up to date and offers a wide variety of styles Diffusion of Innovations Model Innovators: risk takers, young, high class- first to try a trend.
Early Adopters: Follow the innovators lead. Same qualities as innovators, just less risky.
Early Majority: Adopt trends over a period of time. Average social class, and slower with the adoption process. Skeptical about innovation.
Late Majority: Adopt trends after the average person in society. Lower social status and financial situation.
Laggards: Show no opinion leadership. Older age and like traditional things. The Evolution Requirements for Walking in Fashion Show - 5'8" to 6' tall
- hourglass figure
- 34 inch bust, 24 inch waist, 34 inch hips
- beautiful face
- 18 to 22 years old
- top physical condition
- full lips, small nose, high cheekbones, chiseled features I. Trendsetters of Hollywood's Golden Age
II. From Hollywood to Hollyweird
III. The Young Pioneers of Social Media
IV. Objectification is all the Rage
V. Effects of Influence Trendsetters of Hollywood's Golden Age Golden Age: 1920's to 1960s

Fashion icons: Rosalind Russell, Audrey Hepburn, Marlene Dietrich. Because of these icons, women's fashion in business took huge turn.
This signified the beginning of celebrity fads. Ex. Marilyn Monroe's beach blonde, Audrey Hepburn's blonde streaks, the more contemporary "Rachel" haircut, etc. "Hollywood and the media's influence on what the general public desires to wear will never die...society's day when movie stars were publicized as true fashion trendsetters have all but passed" (Read). From Hollywood to Hollyweird Celebrities dominate the media and they have a high influence on women in society. Young girls are the real victims. The negative influence of media leads to further issues in their adult life. Groupthink leads to a vicious cycle of low self esteem that will continue as they get older.
The Young Pioneers of Social Media Social Media awakens curiosity in young women. In the award winning documentary, Sexy Baby, fashion in social media's influence on young women in the cyber age is put into perspective. Objectification is all the Rage In the Sexy Baby documentary, Laura, age 22, is a victim of self objectification. She seeks the opportunity to undergo vaginal reconstruction, also known as a Labiaplasty. Her boyfriend compared her body to the porn stars he watched and Laura was self conscious and wanted to measure up to the new standard of beauty. This procedure is gaining popularity. Effects of Influence Symptoms Belief in Inherent Morality of the Group- Under the sway of GroupThink, members automatically assume the rightness of their cause. Often in fashion, we assume that just because something was "hot" on the runway, that it will be "hot" in our closet or on our body.

Runway models are not real life. They are put on strict diets to look the way they do. When we see these models wearing these latest trends on the runway, we automatically assume that they will look the same on us. The influence of the media is an effect of collective rationalization. Young women rationalize their decisions in flawed manners. They can also be under the influence of "mindguards" who prevent the reality of their decisions from coming to view. Mindguards could be a friend or celebrities and models in the media. Symptoms of Groupthink in Fashion 1. Illusion of Unanimity
2. Belief in the Inherent Morality of the Group
3. Out Group Stereotypes
4. Collective Rationalization Runway Models Requirements to become a runway model include

a. Women must be between 5-foot-9 to 6-foot. Men should be between 5-foot-eleven and 6-foot-2.
b. Models must be a certain weight, depending on which agency they are modeling for. Lately, however, models are asked that their weight be proportional to their height.
c. Models must have "pleasant" features such as good posture. They must have straight, white teeth and glossy hair. "We are the first generation to have what we have, so there is no one before us that can guide us. We are the pioneers" -Winifred, age 13
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