Oxford-ising: Leotards

Student Life

While scholars spend hours hunched over books and graphs trying to understand the society of today, it is becoming increasingly obvious to the layperson that we only need to look as far as the nearest Topshop.

Not only can we observe the presence and interactions of the people who visit it but moreover, Topshop clothes provide an insightful glimpse into the mood of the people of Britain today.

Let us take as an example the humble leotard. At first it may seem nothing more than an item of clothing that has made a comeback from the ’80s because it is flattering, yet in actuality the leotard is a strong metaphor for the emotions of the population.

In the leotard we have a single item that holds in a major proportion of the body and this reflects clearly the need society has to feel secure in an increasingly unstable world.

While we have no strong grip on the job industry, the economic climate and the government, the leotard provides one way for us to gain control again, to strap ourselves in and grapple for sanctuary.

Furthermore, the return to clothes which fasten between the legs is a strong, occasionally discomforting, reminder of a Babygro.

This analogy allows us to infer that the population is regressing to childhood: afraid of what they see of the world, it appears that even young teenagers want nothing more than to return to a time where they had little responsibility and were sure they would be looked after, a stark contrast to the way we have been left to struggle on so alone by the government.

When wearing a leotard people are making a statement, expressing their need to find some control in an increasingly callous world.

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