Saturday, April 30, 2011

Glee Goin’ “Gaga” Gives Birth to New Fashion Fad

“Don’t hide yourself in regret, just love yourself and you’re set…”

Those lyrics from Lady Gaga’s #1 hit Born This Way served as the theme for the latest episode of FOX’s hit television series Glee. Now it is no surprise that Gaga and Glee make the perfect team when it comes to confronting the constraints of social norms through song and public image, but now the duo can add influencing fashion to their list of team accomplishments. 

Yes, Gaga has been influencing fashion on her own for the past few years, but it is Glee’s debut of what I would like to dub “Embraced QualiTEES” that has all of the fans raving. The Born This Way episode concluded with a musical number featuring the Gaga cover (see Video above.) During the number each character donned a plain white T-Shirt, on which was printed in bold black letters one word or a phrase that described a quality or trait that they were born with that they once hated but now embrace and celebrate.

Photo from FOX.COM

History has forever been updating and rejuvenating the modern staple that is the plain white T-Shirt, and Glee has taken it to the next level. The basic nature of the “simple as black and white” design is what makes the “Embraced QualiTEES” genius. Black and white are neutrals that can be worn with everything and look good on anyone. As the Glee kids also show in their musical number (again, see Video above), the “Embraced QualiTEES” can be worn as part of an ensemble or BE the ensemble. The possibilities of how to wear it are endless.

Digging a little deeper to below the superficial qualities, the T-Shirts become a “badge of honor” for the wearer, an emblem depicting the embrace of insecurities and putting it all out for everyone to see. The T-Shirts are not only extremely personalized based on the word or phrase, but also act as a way for society to unite with one another through their differences.

Photo taken from FOX.COM

I wanted to take a page out of Mr. Schuster’s lesson plan and apply this new fashion trend to myself.

I was what you would call an “early bloomer” and began to grow body hair on my arms and legs WELL before any of the other boys my age. This singled me out and in my mind made me a freak. I would get all sorts of comments and strange looks whenever my arms or legs were bare and this made me extremely self-conscious. I can remember wishing on multiple occasions to just shave it all off. The one thing that stopped me from making this wish a reality was the fear of having my hair grow back even thicker.

My insecurities with my body hair caused me to hide it whenever I could. This included wearing jeans and long pants even in the most blistering temperatures of the summer months. I kept to this practice well into the end of my teenage years. Finally, the summer following my senior year of high school, I gave into physical discomfort and began wearing shorts. I will admit it was a challenge at first to ignore some of the looks and comments, but it became easier over time. I credit me finally embracing my insecurities for this.

I am proud to admit that now I fully embrace that my body hair is what makes me unique and that this quality that I was born with plays a part in who I am. No longer do I make an effort to hide it. Thanks to Gaga, Glee and the below “Embraced QualiTEE” of my design, I can now display that pride in myself for all to see. 

Now I leave you with a question: What will you show the world is your “Embraced QualiTEE”?

Design based on my own "Embraced QualiTEE."

Design based on a friend's "Embraced QualiTEE."
Design based on a friend's "Embraced QualiTEE."

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