You’re a famous surgeon. You’ve just finished back-to-back operations: the first saves the Pope’s life, the second separates conjoined quintuplets and also gives them each a substantial college fund. You take a well-deserved rest to climb the highest mountains on all seven continents, discovering along the way cures for several diseases modern medicine didn’t even know existed. You get back home, invent a cocktail that cures hangovers, and build your kid a tree house that is a 1/10 scale replica of Machu Picchu.
What do all these accomplishments amount to?
Nothing. You’re a failure. All the wonderful things you’ve done don’t amount to a hill of decaf coffee flavor crystals, and the reason is that you’ve neglected the one essential factor that makes life worth living, that makes you, in fact, a human being.
Fashion is what separates us from all other living things (except for capybaras. Capybaras are unbelievably fashionable. They’re born wearing fur coats!). But why is fashion so important?
Pretend you’re a monkey. You might have more bananas than any other monkey, or be the best looking monkey in Monkeytown, or be President-for-Life Monkey, or — in fact — be all three.
But you, Mr. Top Banana Monkey, will never be fashionable. Lice free, maybe, but never fashionable. Fashion belongs strictly to us homo sapiens (and capybaras) and is good for only one thing: showing that you’re better than everyone around you. A fashionable person doesn’t have to say anything, or do anything. A fashionable person simply is.
But what makes fashionability hella hard is that it’s completely arbitrary and ephemeral. That’s also what makes it the most important thing in the world. If that makes no sense to you, you should stop reading now, because it’s only going to get worse.
The Origins of Fashion
Fashion has been around since prehistoric times when Ogg came to the cocktail party wearing an off-the-shoulder mammoth fur tunic accompanied by Mrs. Ogg wearing mammoth tusk earrings. Next thing you know, they’re on the cover of Cro-Magnon Weekly, looking smug and slightly less hairy.