Something to think about:
1 Introduction to skulls as a fashion trend
In recent years, apparel with skulls on it has grown in popularity. Once seen as a sinister symbol of a counter-culture, skulls prints have become a mainstream fashion trend and are used on everything from children’s clothes to underwear. People choose to wear skull outfits in various ways from a totally Gothic look to adding a bit of spice to a classic outfit. Famous fashion designers too have incorporated the skull motif on their clothes and accessories. Celebrities who are generally considered trend setters have endorsed this sinister fashion by wearing clothing such as skull scarves, skull tops and skull skirts. When celebrities endorse a fashion trend, society generally flocks to embrace it. It has often been observed that clothing with skull prints get sold out faster than other fashion apparel. In the pictures below we have shared some ways people have incorporated skull designs into their wardrobe including their children’s clothing and baby’s cot.
2 Skull fashion from a spiritual perspective
When people embrace a fashion trend they generally do so because everyone else seems to be doing so. They may adopt the trend thinking that the idea of placing skulls on various items used in daily life is ‘cute’, ‘creative’, or ‘inventive’. Yet people give little thought to the spiritual effect of what they wear. However at SSRF through spiritual research it has been observed that what people wear can impact them to a considerable extent.
According to the science of Spirituality, the entire universe is made up of 3 basic subtle components – Sattva, Raja and Tama. Sattva is the component that represents spiritual purity and knowledge; Raja represents action and passion, while Tama represents ignorance and inertia. The subtle vibrations emanating from anything and everything are dependent on the predominant subtle basic component they are comprised of.
The skull is a symbol of death and has high amount of negative or Tama vibrations associated with it. Through spiritual research we have found that the shape of the skull by itself emits negative vibrations and attracts negative energies. According to spiritual science everything that is created has a form, touch, taste, smell, sound and energy associated with it. Very often subtle artists at SSRF through their advanced sixth sense of vision have seen demonic entities wearing skulls (please see adjacent picture). Demonic entities wear skulls because it increases the negative energy in them. When we use items in our daily lives that have skulls on them, we increase the Tama component in us. Consequently the vibrations emanating from us are negative in nature thus attracting demonic entities to us.
The skull fashion trend in society has been started due to negative energies. People who are possessed by demonic entities are more likely to embrace such a fashion. The demonic entity possessing them influences their thinking and increases their liking for such things which emit negative vibrations. When possessed people choose to wear clothes with skulls, they help the demonic entity possessing them, to strengthen their hold over them. Furthermore, such fashion trends increase the overall negative vibrations in society.
Wearing clothes and accessories with skulls or demonic looking figures on them makes any average person spiritually vulnerable. This vulnerability increases an average person’s risk of being affected by negative energies by 70%. For those who are already susceptible to be possessed, such as people who have a liking for non-vegetarian food and alcohol, who are mentally disturbed or suffering from depression; wearing skull designs increases the risk of possession by 30%. These figures are average guides to show the serious negative impact such clothing can cause a person. This percentage can however vary from person to person. Once a person gets possessed, the possessing ghost can control the person not only in this life but in the afterlife and many future lifetimes to come. It is very difficult to rid oneself from the controlling subtle entity.
3 Suggestions to avoid the negative effect of skull fashion
- If one has clothes and accessories with skulls printed on them, one should discard them.
- If one is associated with a person who wears such attire, then chanting the Name of God according to the religion of one’s birth will provide one with a Divine protective covering from the negative vibrations emanating from that person.
- Starting spiritual practice and continuing it on a regular basis gives one the ability to discern what is spiritually negative and positive.
- Having the subtle ability to discern gives one a whole new dimension to consider when one makes daily decisions such as what to wear. By not considering the spiritual effect of a decision a person can do himself much harm.
I SEE DEAD PEOPLE: WHY THE SKULLS ON EVERYONE’S CLOTHES?
This article has been sitting dormant on my hard drive for over a year, mostly because I always think that it’s out of date, no longer relevant. Experience, however, suggests the opposite. I wanted to say something about the frustratingly popular trend of “skull” fashion, and as it turns out, the trend doesn’t seem to be going anywhere. So here’s the old article (revised, of course), which has apparently stood the test of time; a surprising thing considering the usual turn-over rate of fashion trends.
The walking dead seem to be among us, and in more ways than one.
I can hardly go a day without seeing upwards five skulls on somebody’s shirt, shoes, scarf, purse, hat, pet or baby. Skulls with batwings, a skull with caribou antlers, X-Files-esque alien skulls, a skull with “What!” written above it, rhinestone skulls on baseball caps; skeleton outlined jackets with skulls, rear and side views, on the hood. I’ve even seen – in the most absurd and perplexing case of all – the slogan “Vive le FLQ” written in dripping blood letters above a skull. What the 1960s militant Quebec separation group, “Front de libération du Québec”, has to do with anything, I’m not sure (I suppose the easy answer is, “They killed people.”).
Those are just a few examples. I’ve seen more than I can remember. Anything – and I mean anything – can be combined with a skull and put on a shirt. And any skull-combo you can think of has probably run through the mind of one of the decidedly unoriginal, low-level designers pumping out this trendy garbage. Casual morbidity not only goes with black, it is the new black. It certainly seems to be the “in” thing at the moment. Scratch that: “in” for a good many moments. The trend apparently has staying power. So what’s with all this stylish skullduggery?
Even if you don’t count the skull imagery that’s always gone with biker, punk rock and skateboarder fashion, skull-related symbology is strikingly common. Where did the skulls as fashion trend come from? And why is it so popular now?
I mean, does anybody actually think to themselves why they even buy such clothing in the first place? When you buy that cool shirt, do you think, “Hey, I like skulls. I’ll get this shirt.” Do people ever think to themselves “Skulls are a symbol not only of death but of change, transformation and growth. I think I’ll wear this”?
Or is this all just a recent trend that everybody is conforming to because, consciously or not, we think that, “Well, everybody else is wearing it.”? According to a post by nicole6980 on the fashion website, Gurl.com, “Skulls on clothes rox. They dont really mean anything but they look badass. Me and my friends rock them almost everyday.” I take this to be representative of most people’s thoughts on the subject.
In my other admittedly sparse internet research on the skeletal trend I found FOXNews.com reporting as far back as 2006 that, “Taking their cue from bottles of arsenic, fashion designers around the world are going gaga for Mr. Skull and Crossbones, adorning everything from jeans to jewelry with his bony image.” They credit celebs like Lindsay Lohan for popularizing the trend, which seems to be going nowhere, much to my annoyance. USATODAY.com, also years ago, wrote that, “Being bad to the bone may prove good for the bottom line. Hoping to capitalize on the “skull chic” trend — as well as Friday’s release of Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Man’s Chest — marketers are plastering skulls, with or without crossbones, on everything from T-shirts and belts to dinner plates and jewelry.”
The USATODAY.com article included a section titled “How marketers are trying to get ahead with skulls” detailing how the skull trend is “exploding” in clothing, accessories and home decor. But they warn it should be meant ironically, lest you come off as some sort of tough guy. The “ironic” part is usually expressed through combining skulls with cutesy things like the Hello Kitty brand, or with little hearts. In Avril Lavigne’s “Girlfriend” video, for instance, the background features huge, brightly coloured, plaid skulls with heart-shaped eye sockets (irony is no stranger to today’s youngest generations, so much so that sarcarm trumps seriousness almost everywhere you go).
For some reason parents are even decorating their kids in these symbols of death. The baby clothing shop near my apartment sells (or did sell) a black baby t-shirt with a baby skull on it. Why you’d want to be reminded of death when you look at your newborn I’m not sure.
Even more strange, perhaps, on Denman street – a high class, area in Vancouver’s famously gay neighbourhood near Davie street – I walked by a doggie fashion store and noticed, you guessed it, a doggie t-shirt with a little doggie skull on it.
You can find skulls on people’s clothing in movies and TV, too. Quentin Tarantino’s gore-fest Deathproof features on its poster a skull on a car, plus in the movie a character or two with skull shirts. On the TV show L.A. Ink, about a tattoo parlour, one of the tattoo artists had a shirt with a skull, and above it the words “Guns and Knives”. And this just scratches the surface of skull-fashion’s TV and film exposure. Again, why this modern, morbid trend?
Could it be that in our age of worldwide violence, war, and famine, we have to somehow sublimate all the nihilistic energy in the air? Is our modern, North American culture so swamped in casual, violent images – provided by a fear-mongering media – that we unconsciouly don the fitting fashion? Perhaps the sheer amount of death and destruction in the world – both real and imagined – reduces the possibility of understanding it in any sensible way, leaving most of us jaded, resigned or indifferent. So the casual, cute, ironic morbidity of the alarmingly common skeletal motif might just be an unconscious expression of our malaise, our powerlessness, our sinking into a bottomless, political, moral abyss, which even (or especially) words cannot get us out of.
The key word there is “unconscious”. My generation, the younger siblings of Generation X (which, fittingly, makes us Generation Why?), harbours a strong distrust of mainstream politics and the words attached to it. But words, as far as I can tell, are one of, if not the only sign of a critical or creative – that is, conscious – mind. Static symbols, like skulls, when lacking an interpretation (i.e.: in words), can only be the passive flashcard of an unconscious mind.
The violent imagery doesn’t stop with skulls, of course. Also popular is the war motif: guns, tanks, bombs, etc. And like the skulls, they are often combined ironically (how hip!) with more light-hearted images. Take, for example, the t-shirt in which bombs being dropped from an airplane morph into butterflies; or the one (by the same company, I assume) that has a man holding a just-fired gun to his head, with the blood splatter morphing into those cute butterflies again. Perhaps a clever comment on how butterflies themselves morph, perhaps not.
In my more theoretical moments I actually do believe that the skulls and other violent imagery are an unconscious expression of, or response to, our age of ultra-violence. But it could merely be, as another modern trend has it (this one linguistic), that it’s all just “random”. Plus, with the George Bush era ostensibly over, perhaps Barack Obama’s Yes-We-Can-style “hope” will finally diffuse the morbid trend.
Clearly skulls have, for a while now, become a dominant, abstract, no-content symbol on almost everybody’s (including their babies’ and dogs’) clothing. But is it so devoid of content? Maybe there’s something behind the seemingly mindless trend. Perhaps it actually represents a state of mind, a politico-cultural opinion, a worldview – albeit an unarticulated one. I mean, do people actually have an opinion on what they wear? Does it represent some statement about the Bush era? Are people using the skulls on their clothes to “express themselves” or “get across some message”?
Here’s a partial answer in anecdotal form:
A while back I visited a fashion store, Riot, which is in my building on Commercial Drive in East Vancouver. I pointed out a hat on the rack that had a skull on it and asked the two girls who were working what they thought about all the trendy skull imagery everywhere. I, being the snobbish, pretentiously intellectual male I am, assumed the girls wouldn’t be interested in my own theory about the modern moral malaise and the inexpressible despair with the state of the world, and so I went with the condescendingly simple Pirates of the Caribbean theory: about how it’s probably just the Disney Company doing sly promotion through its likely vast fashion subsidiaries. The girl behind the counter said, “Yeah, maybe, but I think it has more to do with how there’s so much violence in the media and with the war and stuff like that. You can’t really go around wearing rainbows and happy stuff. It just wouldn’t look right.”
So I was wrong, and very glad about it. Someone besides me had been thinking about all this (she wasn’t actually wearing any skulls, though). And so I come back to my earlier question: do the skulls really represent an unarticulated, geo-political opinion on the state of the world? Well, no. And that’s simply because there’s no such thing as an unarticulated opinion! The most common response I get to my frequent probes into this fashion quirk is a resigned, “It doesn’t mean anything” (nicole6980 would agree).
For what it’s worth, I always have trouble accepting “It doesn’t mean anything” as an answer to any question because I can’t help but interpret it as “I don’t want to think about it.” Perhaps all I’ve done here is confirm the idea that fashion is antithetical to individual thought, because fashion is mostly conformity to an arbitrary trend.
What I’ve concluded, perhaps unfairly, is this: Where words fail, or just simply don’t exist (for lack of effort or smarts) you have a trendy, jaded symbol to do the “talking” for you. And guess what? You’ll have plenty of similarly fashionable people to “agree” with: skulls for everyone, all in on the “in” thing. No need for words, no need for thought. I know I shouldn’t judge people by their covers, but they give me little else – words! – to work with. The walking dead are among us, but as far as I can tell, they are the brain-dead.