IIPM Admission

Wednesday, November 09, 2011

Fashion or nudity?

A new fashion trend ends up offending Chavakkad elderly

The youth perceive it as a new trend in fashion, the oldies find it to be offensive and vulgar. Sometimes this happens with certain new fashion trends. And it happens all across the world and not only in India. But it's also true that sometimes some people's perception– which forms the basis of their appreciation or opposition to a certain trend– verges on the ludicrous.

Some elderly people in Chavakkad in Thrissur district of Kerala are objecting to youngsters wearing low-rise jeans that exposes their undergarments. This, they think, is obscenity.

As anyone would know, low-rise jeans is a rage worldwide these days and youngsters are wearing them as the latest fashion statement. But for conservative people of Chavakkad this fashion trend is tantamount to obscenity.

Even the local police think so. So they took the complaints very seriously and started hunting for the 'crazy' adolescents. It should be kept in mind that Thrissur is often hailed as Kerala’s cultural capital. And the famous Guruvayoor Srikrishna temple is just stone’s throw away from Chavakkad. Although the low-rise jeans trend has been around for a few years now, youngsters in Chavakkad have only adopted it recently. When the trend spread, the public, especially women and school authorities, declared it a public nuisance and complained to the police.

“Women, school authorities and general public have filed so many complaints against this trend. Youths wear ultra low-rise jeans and do not tuck-in their shirts, which are usually short. So while boarding a bus or holding on to the overhead railing, their inner wear is exposed. This amounts to indecency,” says Chavakkad SI Abdul Muneer.

Having received many such complaints, the police swung into action and started looking for boys and girls wearing low-rise jeans. Although most of the boys were let off lightly after a warning, the police detained a few and imposed a fine of Rs100 on each of them. On the first day, more than 50 persons were fined while they were hanging around bus stops.

Police say that most of the “fanatically fashionable” youth are not very well educated and most of them come from low-income families.

Shylan, famous young poet and author of three books has different views on the issue though. “Fashion is youth’s right. It changes from time to time. Low-rise jeans is not a Chavakkad fashion only. It is an international trend which is followed in most parts of Kerala. Youths of northern Kerala are fashionable too irrespective of their income or social status. We see more men’s shops in Malappuram and Kozhikode districts than in other parts of the state.

“Although these districts are backward in education and economy in comparisons with certain other districts like Ernakulam, they spend more money on fashion. It is desirable to see these trends as mere fashion. So, we should refrain from taking it as an anti-social or immoral gesture,” he puts forth.