Bonsoir mes amis!
Lots has been happening in cyber world this week so let me tackle just one of the discussions taking place across the information highway. Do you remember seeing this post on The Sartorialist of Italian blogger Angelica Ardasheva and her "curvy" figure?? Isaac Hindin-Miller documented some of the comments in his Facts Of The Week.
I have been thinking alot about this issue this week. Issues of body consciousness are central to life in the fashion industry and as a consumer in our image saturated culture. We all have grooming habits we religiously abide by and have at least one vanity related reply to the question: "If you could change one thing about you what would it be?"
When I was 18 and fresh out of high school I was accepted into the Bachelor of Design - Fashion programme at AUT University on a full scholarship with bright dreams of changing the world through the magic language of fashion.
Those three years were the most incredible years of growth, personal development and creativity. But it is only recently reflecting this week on reactions to The Sartorialists comments that I have realised that the world of fashion communication has made my own eyes more critical of bodies, appearance and conforming to unrealistic standards than they were when I was living my bubble of creativity and left for the world of hyper-consumption.
Clothes have become again about the entire package rather than just form and function. I am so aware of my critical eye! This week The University of Auckland's student magazine Craccum published an interesting article recounting the experience of two students auditioning for New Zealand's Next Top Model. Reading the article in a non-fashion context (between French class and a politics tutorial) I was genuinely mortified at some of the judges comments to the girls.
"You're coming across as very warm and bubbly. We're not sure if this type of personality would come across on a reality TV show."
But, if they were recorded and shown on TV while all of us fashion bloggy types were live tweeting, I'm sure I would have brushed off the brutal criticism.
As the author of the article asks:
"It is undoubtedly true that the fashion industry (as a culture industry) can be considered responsible for some of our perceptions of how a female should look. However, it is important to remember that culture is performed first and then reproduced, to be bought into and then performed again. Given that we are a reflection of them, and them of us, who shoulders the responsibility for initiating change?"
That is the million dollar question. Who shoulders the responsibility for initiating change?
Image: The Sartorialist