munaA fashionista is a person who is devoted to fashionable clothing, particularly unique or high fashion. This concept has entered Kuwaiti society only recently. Although it has been a well-known term around the world for years, it was not widespread in Kuwait. Today, we have more and more Kuwaiti girls – and even some boys – who are taking up fashion as a profession and hobby. But the society is not giving them the credit they deserve. I wonder why?

It is said that real fashionistas do not believe in trends. I don’t see how this is true, because in Kuwait they do their best to be on top of trends! I guess whoever said that was not being realistic. ‘Fashionista’ is not by any means a negative term. It is nice to see Kuwaiti women taking up this role. These women face two main problems while dealing with the local society – ignorance, and negative perceptions about what they do, which is a cultural issue. Most comments and jokes target these girls in a very insulting and nasty way. This is not fair, because to join the fashion field in a conservative society requires courage and intelligence, as well as being under pressure and the spotlight.

Social media has been an extra burden on these young professionals, as many comments are negative and harsh. They deserve a salute for expressing themselves in the latest fashion and makeup. Negative and silly comments on social media reflect how some people are full of jealousy and hatred over any success by young Kuwaitis, especially women.

What I really like about the fashionistas in Kuwait is that they changed the stereotype of the very thin supermodels who usually parade clothes by designers for rich people or actresses. Not everyone knows what the art of fashion is or needs to. Fashionistas make it easy for every woman – regardless of how much money she has – to visualize herself in any dress or makeup. Fashionistas in Kuwait are giving a free lesson on what to wear and what makeup to use. This is fun.

Some people say fashionistas are a creation of Instagram and will soon be gone. But I don’t think so. Some of them will disappear, but those who achieved success will turn this hobby into successful businesses. I feel proud to see more Kuwaiti women in a new field in business and life.