When I made the decision to start this blog, I went out and bought several fashion magazines. I had, and still have, no intention of talking about “trends” or (god forbid) “must-haves,” but I thought I should at least be familiar with what they’re showing at the moment.
More than once, in more than one magazine, the name Cara Delevingne popped up, with the author gushing about her “relaxed, effortless style.” I made a mental note that this was someone I should watch. And then British Vogue posted this photo on their Facebook page:
THIS is Cara Delevingne. Once again, they were gushing about her “style.” My generation invented this look. We called it “grunge” (interesting note: Ms. Delevingne was born 3 months after I graduated from University. That alone is sufficient grounds to hate her, isn’t it?).
Don’t get me wrong: this young woman is stunning. She would literally look good in a paper bag. But is this look really “stylish,” or noteworthy in any way, shape or form, other than being worn by a stunningly gorgeous model?
The answer to that question is clearly no. If any other (non-model) female were to wear this outfit, no-one would look twice. Except maybe to give her some change or offer directions to the nearest soup kitchen.
Okay, I thought, maybe she’s just the latest It-girl, and they’re so obsessed that they can’t help themselves. I mean, when she’s made up, she looks like this:
Yeah. Wow. I really can’t blame them for being a bit obsessed. Plus she posts goofy photos of herself on twitter like this:
Which makes me think if I weren’t so busy hating her for being so impossibly young, gorgeous, and successful, I’d probably really like her.
Clearly Ms. Delevingne is just an aberration, a model SO gorgeous, SO charming, SO confident in herself that the press just can’t help gushing about anything she does, right?
Wrong. The next day this photo of Miranda Kerr appeared in British Vogue’s “best dressed of the day” list:
My mother saw this photo and said “I’ve been wearing variations on this outfit for more than 30 years and I’ve never been in Vogue.” Exactly. This woman is undeniably gorgeous. But stylish? Best-dressed? REALLY?
I could go on to give more examples, but just trust me when I say that gorgeous models can pretty much wear whatever they find rumpled next to their beds and wind up featured somewhere on a “best dressed” or “most stylish” list, and normal-looking people who are stunningly attired will be utterly ignored. Invisible.
It REALLY gets my knickers in a twist. Why? Because it sends the implicit message that the young, thin, and beautiful will be praised no matter what they do, and the rest of us mere mortals might as well give up trying. If you ask me, THAT’s the real problem with the media. It’s not that they only use super-tall, super-skinny models. I think most of us appreciate that their bodies photograph well, that clothes look better on them, and they are best suited for those jobs. But when magazines which are supposed to sell clothes to the rest of us, which are supposed to show us how to dress well, keep featuring off-duty models in perfectly ordinary or even boring clothes, holding them up as “stylish” or “well-dressed,” it just sends the message that the only way to look good is to be young, tall, and thin like them.
Is it any wonder that we’re losing the art of dressing and have become obsessed with youth and beauty?