Friday, November 22, 2013

Fashion Isn't Just for Bimbos: 4 Stylish Accessories That Also Have Deep Meanings

When people think of fashion, they often think of individuals with questionable IQs who seem more concerned with what they're getting out of their closet for the day than what's going on in the world. While there are definitely individuals who unfortunately live up to that stereotype, it doesn't mean all of fashion is completely vapid and shallow. Since self-expression is a big part of fashion, it makes sense that there are accessories people wear to convey beliefs that they hold close. Let's go over four different accessories that fall into this category:

Livestrong Bracelet

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When the International Cycling Union officially stripped Lance Armstrong of his seven Tour de France titles, it came as a shock to cycling fans all over the globe. While allegations of performance-enhancing drugs had swirled around Armstrong for quite some time, he had always denied them. So when the ICU made this official decision, it was a huge deal. And it also had some major effects.

According to various reports, Armstrong said that this decision cost him $75 million in income that's never coming back. Additionally, there are at least six pending lawsuits that could cost him more than $110 million. Those lawsuits are all in some way related to accusing him of financially benefiting from cheating and lying about his cheating for multiple years.

Another big impact of this scandal was on the Livestrong Foundation. Previously known as the Lance Armstrong Foundation, the cyclist founded it in 1997 after surviving testicular cancer. In 2003, the foundation launched its yellow Livestrong bracelet. Over the last decade, this bracelet has become one of the most iconic fashion accessories in the world. It seems like just about everyone has had one on their wrist at some point.

The reason Livestrong bracelets seem so prominent is because over 80 million have been sold. That alone has raised closed to $100 million for inspiring and empowering cancer survivors and their families. And while Nike will officially quit making the Livestrong bracelet and all other apparel in 2014, that shouldn't diminish what this foundation has accomplished. In total, the foundation has generated over half a billion dollars since its inception.

Red String Bracelet

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Celebrities like Madonna, Ashton Kutcher and Gwyneth Paltrow have all been photographed with a red string bracelet on their wrist. Since celebrities are known for being quite fashionable even when they're just going to the gym, it's normal to assume that this bracelet was just a trend that suddenly caught on in Hollywood. However, it's actually a fashion choice that can be traced all the way back to the Bible.

This bracelet is a folk custom among the Jewish population. The reason it's worn is to help ward off all the bad things that can be brought on by the evil eye. And if you're wondering why it's been so prominently seen among celebrities, it's because it's commonly associated with Kabbalah, which is a specific realm within Jewish thought.

Fish Necklace

If you see someone wearing a necklace with a fish on it, you may think they just liked the way it looked. You may even think they just happen to be fond of fishing. While that's a possibility, if the head of the fish faces left and the tail consists of two lines crossing, chances are it's actually something more meaningful. So, what exactly is this fish? It's known as an ichthys. That word is actually Greek for fish. And the reason this accessory has meaning behind it is because it's a very popular Christian symbol. That's the result of several prominent mentions of fish throughout the Bible.

Pink Ribbon Pin

This accessory is actually related to the first item on our list. Most people don't only wear a pink ribbon pin because it looks nice. Instead, they do it to show their support and help spread awareness about breast cancer. While plenty of people wear this accessory throughout the year, it's especially popular during October since that's officially Breast Cancer Awareness Month. And because breast cancer is the most common cancer in women, as well as the most common cause of cancer death among Hispanic women, it's an accessory that has a deeply personal meaning for many of those who wear it.

Much like tattoos, some fashion accessories are simply about their visual appeal. However, accessories don't only have to serve that purpose. As the above examples show, it's also possible to wear an accessory that shares an important belief with the world.

About the Author:
Cole Westervelt is a journalist and editor from the Midwest. After discovering he had a knack for writing in middle school, it's what he's been busy doing ever since!

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