Foreign TV has a significant impact on my society due to its highly pervasive and easily accessible nature. In Singapore, we are constantly exposed to foreign – mainly Western – TV shows, from Gossip Girl and Project Runway to entire channels of K-pop. In the same way fashion trends on the red carpet become pervasive in fashion magazines and soon hit high street stores such as H&M and Topshop, thus influencing how people dress, our exposure to fashion trends on TV also influence the way we dress. With cable television being the norm, the vast majority of our TV time is, for most people, spent watching foreign channels, and seeing foreign celebrities dress in a particular way. This, in turn, has influenced the way people in my society dress. For example, enthusiastic fans of K-pop can be seen sporting K-pop-inspired outfits, those who appreciate Japanese culture may be seen sporting the popular Japanese look of wearing stockings, and those who worship Gossip Girl may be seen dressed in outfits inspired by the show. This is in sharp contrast to the situation in Singapore just two generations ago – the current day grandparents. Among that older generation, one may still spot an old lady wearing a kebaya, or an old man wearing a sarong. Just the other day, I spotted a grandmother at the bank with her two grandsons, wearing a cheongsam. This was a generation that did not experience such easily accessible and pervasive foreign TV – or much of any TV at all for that matter. Of course, one could rightly question whether the correlation was solely or mainly responsible for this observation. Yet, it is difficult to deny that we – especially the younger generation – are dressing the way foreigners are. How do we know how foreigners dress? Where does this influence come from? And a big part of that answer is foreign TV.
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