The Brains of Beauty
Growing up, many of us subscribe to the notion that you have to choose between being pretty and being smart. While we are constantly reminded that it is what’s on the inside that counts, this unfortunately is not always true. Yet, there is a fundamental intelligence and value to fashion, which can reveal deeper truths about ourselves and what we believe.
Fashion makes a business out of aesthetics—the human desire for beauty and how it makes us feel. This is what leads to the negative reputation of fashion as a shallow.
Yet, fashion is fundamentally the art of dress, which has an important value and function in every culture throughout history. It is an inherently superficial art form that reflects our social and cultural values. In this context, “superficial” refers only to the “surface” of clothing not to the value or quality of lacking depth.
Indeed, while everyone makes judgments about each other from what they wear, this is not necessarily a negative thing. What you wear obviously does not define who you are. However, donning clothing reveals insights about you, how you feel about yourself, and where you come from.
Even intelligent people who claim to have no interest in style must get dressed every day, which means they participate in the culture of fashion, however unconsciously.
Fashion creates art out of function and, in turn, makes dressing oneself more psychologically stimulating, more artistically challenging, and perhaps more beautiful.