Why I quit working in fashion
They were interviewing Martina Bonnier (editor-in-chief and fashion editor of Damernas Värld) on the news this morning about her new book Obsession. The book’s characters are based off the people in the fashion industry today, you’ve got the fashion obsessed blogger, the famous designer and the feared fashion editor. As Martina Bonnier explained what the book is about, I felt a hint of nausea creeping up on me.
A lot of people wonder why I quit working in fashion – why would anyone give up a job as a fashion editor and stylist? People would cut off their arm for a job like that! To me, it’s not important how fancy my job title is, if other people would kill to have my job or even how much money I’m making. My number one priority when it comes to jobs has always been; does it make me happy? Working in fashion did not make me happy, but more than that, I felt I was not contributing anything worthwhile to the world by writing about “what not to wear”.
Fashion can be a wonderful and fun thing, and it was fun for me as long as I was devoting my free time to it as a hobby. When I started working in the fashion industry, it was like someone stamped on my hobby with their filthy stiletto heels. It just wasn’t fun anymore. I often felt bad writing articles or giving tips on the latest trends because I imagined what my words would do to young girls who are already struggling to fit in. I knew exactly what that was like, and I didn’t want to add to anyone else feeling bad about themselves. I kept asking myself in what way penning the latest trends was enriching the world, was I helping someone? was I saving lives? or was I just contributing to girls feeling not good enough and harming themselves because of it (yes, the fashion industry does provoke eating disorders). I know people say (and I’m prepared to agree to a certain extent) that fashion can make you feel happy, pretty and good about yourself, but there’s a very fine line between enjoying it for fun and being so obsessed with it that it controls every aspect of your life. Simply put, shifting focus away from what you’re wearing, what brands you own, and how you look opens up a whole new perspective on life.
I had my career in fashion, and now I’m going to pursue a career in something else. The rest of the fashion industry can continue to live in their little bubble, because that’s exactly what it is – a bubble. Either you’re in, or you’re out. And I prefer the freedom of being outside the Prada-bubble where I’m exposed to diversity, inspirational people and places, and the ability to be me and not some fashion image.