The Disney Channel has a music video of two young ladies singing a song of how “Fashion is My Kryptonite”. This catchy tune talks about their love of fashion and shows these young ladies strutting their stuff on a runway in what appears to be “Wonderland”. It is interesting that they chose an implicit “Wonderland” theme for a song that references “kryptonite” which is Superman’s weakness. I will leave that for another discussion, maybe an e-mail to the creative team but I digress…I thought about fashion being a “kryptonite”, a source of uncontrollable weakness that is so overwhelming that one must succumb to its’ power. In essence, what the song is saying is that fashion is a source of weakness that these young ladies willingly succumb to because it essentially provides them with a sense of power. This power is demonstrated as they confidently walk the runway in their video.
Many can relate to the willingness to succumb to an uncontrollable weakness because of the impact on emotional responses that it generates. The song talks about fashion however there are other forms of “kryptonite” in our lives that motivates our actions and directs our lives in positive or negative ways. Our emotions are multidimensional that causes us to feel and react in various ways. They can be biological reactions to situations or a representation of a purpose. Emotions can express a motivational desire to commit an act that is outside of one's character. They can also be a social demonstration that communicates socially identifiable facial, body, or vocal expressions.
The song and video exemplifies how fashion can elicit certain emotions from those who are driven by it. The young ladies are going to a party where they desire to represent themselves in a certain way so they are at odds with what they should wear. They are driven by the desire to look their best. When they try on various fashion styles and are out of their ordinary realm of influence, they begin to get into character by walking the runway demonstrating the confidence of a supermodel. Their facial and body expressions mirror the models on the runway and they are presenting a confident attitude through their vocal expressions.
The young ladies are participating in an external experience with objects that motivates a specific emotional response. The emotional response can serve in various functions. They can serve as a coping mechanism that prepares the individual to respond to circumstances in life. The two girls are contemplating their wardrobe in preparation for what they believe to be a major event in their lives. There can be a social function to emotions that serves several purposes. It can bring about mutual communication of feelings that can influence how people interact with one another. Emotional responses can be inviting, facilitating interpersonal interactions with other people. They can also bring about the creation, maintenance, and dissolution of relationships. It is apparent that the care spent in deciding the right wardrobe for this social event is to generate a specific emotional response that will communicate the desire to be noticed and invite interaction with those in attendance at the event. The individual’s ability to successfully cope with the external experiences or objects that generates a response is based on the regulation of emotions instead of being regulated by emotions. This is an important concept to think about when considering how fashion can be one's "kryptonite".
Kryptonite is used in this song as a representation of an external object that motivates a specific emotional response. It acts as a coping mechanism; serving a social function as it generates a response that reinforces the internal motives for surrendering to that weakness. The girls love fashion, they love the response they receive from onlookers, and the positive reinforcement causes them to do whatever it takes to look good. Their proclamation that fashion is their kryptonite lets us know that they are regulated by their emotions as they succumb to their weakness.
Popular forms of “kryptonite” are food, shopping, hoarding, drugs, alcohol, even plastic surgery. They can be addictive in nature and some individuals need the assistance of another individual to help in overcoming their addiction. Superman often had trouble with overcoming the power of kryptonite once he was exposed to it. He was not addicted to it however he would need assistance to gain the strength to overcome its’ power when he was heavily exposed to large amounts of it. The same can be said about individuals who suffer from an addiction and their inability to regulate their emotions. They are controlled by their emotional response to the external object allowing them to be motivators behind their behavior.
The use of the term “kryptonite” to describe fashion is interesting because of the negative undertone that is suggested. “Kryptonite” is a debilitating substance to Superman and causes him great harm. The use of the term to describe fashion suggests that fashion is harmful which is not what the song is essentially saying. Fashion can be harmful to one’s social standing but not to the point that it has a devastating outcome. The motivation behind the purchase of fashion can be debilitating economically. None of these factors are what is discussed in the song, so these young ladies are just saying that they like fashion. There really is no logical reason for the comparison of fashion to kryptonite based on the lyrics in this song. The song title just leaves a theoretical conceptualization of the idea based on the theme displayed in the video.
After consideration of how fashion can be a “kryptonite”, I can understand the implicit use of an “Alice in Wonderland” theme in the Disney Channel video. It is possible that the creative team saw fashion as a playful coping mechanism that serves the purpose of communicating confidence, creativity, and independence in addition to influencing or facilitating interpersonal interactions and relationships. The quirky “Alice in Wonderland” theme is a kid-friendly demonstration of rebellion against status quo. They are essentially saying that they can’t help but to love being nonconformists by choosing fashion that goes against what some may say is “good taste”. Fashion is a social demonstration of internal emotions that is just as multidimensional as the trends that are set forth in this video. They are saying that it is a weakness that they are proud of because of the response that their fashion sense elicits from others. Some may need a hallucinogen to choose some of the outfits that are worn in the video; however, this external form of self-expression empowers these youth to accomplish their dreams and that can potentially be the message that is to be communicated through the cinematography of the video.
That’s my interpretation of it at least…what is your “kryptonite”?