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65 Responses

  1. Henry
    Henry February 13, 2013 at 12:14 am |

    Stifling human creativity makes us less human.

    1. macavitykitsune
      macavitykitsune February 13, 2013 at 12:18 am |

      Only making clothes for one (1) type of body is expanding human creativity, making clothes for people of all races/genders/sizes/body types is stifling it?

      Wait, remind me again, how long have we been at war with Eastasia?

      1. Henry
        Henry February 13, 2013 at 1:20 am |

        That is not what I said. I was responding to the general premise that some people believe fashion is irreconcilable with equality and agreeing with Caperton that it need not be so.

        Mac, I must ask why do you read almost every comment on this blog as negative?

        1. Henry
          Henry February 13, 2013 at 1:39 am |

          Oh wait this is the Internets. Got it.

        2. Kerandria
          Kerandria February 13, 2013 at 4:11 am |

          You leaving a patronising one-liner and commencing to flail about when someone calls you on your BS is okay, but the content of Mac’s response is not?

          Oh, wait.

          Internets.

        3. A4
          A4 February 13, 2013 at 10:03 am |

          If you don’t want to be “misinterpreted” (which i don’t think Mac did anyway) write more than six vague words.

          Also, picking a username that doesn’t say “MAN HERE” might help.

    2. Amelia the Lurker
      Amelia the Lurker February 13, 2013 at 2:08 am |

      To be fair to Mac, your comment was ambiguous and could have been read a number of ways. I don’t blame her for misapprehending it. That said, I sympathize with your frustration at being misunderstood.

  2. amblingalong
    amblingalong February 13, 2013 at 4:30 am |

    What is this and why is it being hosted at feministe?

    [Disemvoweled by moderator]Fshnfvr Fshn Plts: Hr’s th Sknny n ff-th-Rnwy Pggng t – Wll Strt Jrnl| Bhnd th sknny ctwlk, th vnt hs chbby lttl scrt

    1. tigtog
      tigtog February 13, 2013 at 6:11 am | *

      It’s a trackback from another blog, and you’re quite right that it is very problematic and an unsuitable link. Thanks for bringing it to our attention.

    2. amblingalong
      amblingalong February 13, 2013 at 11:33 am |

      Thanks!

      And sorry if that came across as accusatory, I was legitimately just really confused about what it was doing.

  3. Unree
    Unree February 13, 2013 at 8:05 am |

    If we care, we’re shallow. If we don’t care, we’re slovenly. If we try to care but do it wrong (“Nice knockoff Louis Vuitton you got there, loser“), we’re pathetic. There’s no winning, and there’s no not playing.

    QFT. The only hope for fashion is to dial back judging. If we can manage that, we might get some joy out of it.

  4. konkonsn
    konkonsn February 13, 2013 at 8:23 am |

    Ok, funny…when I read, “Can fashion be feminist,” I immediately thought, “YES!” But then I realized my concept of fashion is not yours (or probably most people’s).

    I always image fashion as the ability to express oneself in a way that’s more than just throwing on jeans and a t-shirt. Like make-up, it can be super artistic and just about being as expressive as possible with the materials you have.

    But then again, I only know person who drops more than twenty dollars on a shirt (he bought a $200 wallet and a $300 scarf at one point; I about died when I heard that).

    But yes, Big Fashion, as you called it at one point, seems to have too many issues at this point to really work.

    1. EG
      EG February 13, 2013 at 9:21 am |

      Yes, that was my gut reaction to, that it’s about the way you construct yourself and communicate through clothing. I should have remembered what Lester Bangs said about the difference between fashion and style.

  5. B
    B February 13, 2013 at 10:04 am |

    Oh, one of my favorite topics.

    I love fashion in that I always check out what’s going down the cat walks and what the clebs wore at the awards banquets. It entertains and amuses me. There are some amazingly creative fashions and they do seem to be works of art sometimes, not just clothes. But you won’t catch me dead in anything close to high fashion. My reasons for fashion avoidance is many fold and you touch on most of them but you left out pain and discomfort. The deformity of women’s feet due to high heels is horrible. When fashion requires we alter(deform) our bodies (yeah, we should include breast augmentation and other cosmetic plastic surgery) we are going too far. How can we be so obsessed with appearances that we suffer health problems and all term pain to achieve someone’s unrealistic ideal? Isn’t there some self loathing involved with this behavior?

    Can’t there be a designer out there who wants to design beautiful clothes that co-operate with the female form as it was created by nature?

  6. B
    B February 13, 2013 at 10:08 am |

    long term pain, not all term pain

  7. A4
    A4 February 13, 2013 at 10:26 am |

    I don’t like how modern day fashion is focused on how people look. I think it’s a dehumanizing perspective. It is very common for people to be expected to analyze and prioritize the way their clothes appear to someone else, rather than the way they feel to the wearer.

    Since my ankle surgery a year ago, i’ve been leaning towards more and more loose and comfortable clothing. I love to dance, just everywhere, and i refuse to compromise my comfort and freedom of movement for the sake of conformity or “looking cute”.

    I have the freedom, though, because I’m a guy. I think one of the most problematic aspects of women’s fashion is how it is designed to limit movement and physical capability, worsen overall posture and alignment, and cause long term injuries.

    I emphasize the way women’s fashion is designed to limit physicality, but all fashion, especially the more formal types, are designed for this as well. A tucked in formal shirt makes it difficult to bend or twist or lift your arms above your head. A necktie often serves to restrict deep breathing, as do many other types of tight clothing.

    Fashion is one of the main ways in which we are socialized to limit our range of movements to a limited and relatively docile set of actions.

    Long live the sweatpants revolution!

    1. macavitykitsune
      macavitykitsune February 13, 2013 at 12:17 pm |

      I think one of the most problematic aspects of women’s fashion is how it is designed to limit movement and physical capability, worsen overall posture and alignment, and cause long term injuries.

      Yes, yes, yes!

      I mean, it’s not exactly your point, but… I have to buy/pick my clothes of the day based on whether my shoulders are more fucked up (cue button-downs) or my hands are (cue sweaters). I wish to fuck women’s clothing was easier to get into, warmer, and easier to move around in. Maybe then I wouldn’t have to wear giant baggy things so that I can maintain blood circulation. GAH.

      1. A4
        A4 February 13, 2013 at 1:31 pm |

        If clothes were judged based on functionality and craftsmanship, you wouldn’t be able to get people to buy ripped jeans for 300 dollars.

        When it was 0 degrees F out recently, I was wearing 3 pairs of pants and three shirts because I like to layer. I also had a hat, face mask, and gloves. Waiting at the bus stop was not a big deal.

        The other people waiting at the bus stop however…
        People! You knew it was ridiculously cold outside! Why are you wearing jeans, a thin coat, no hat and no gloves?

        Because fashion is all about how you look, not how you feel. Because people think that you can judge someone on their clothes and then treat them accordingly. because people think that others are accountable for the perception of their sartorial appearance.

        It’s the same attitude that allows people to think that the length of a woman’s skirt means something about her morals or sexual availability.

        1. macavitykitsune
          macavitykitsune February 13, 2013 at 1:59 pm |

          People! You knew it was ridiculously cold outside! Why are you wearing jeans, a thin coat, no hat and no gloves?

          Holy fuck do I hear you. A few weeks ago we were having -30s C temperatures and people were still swishing about in leggings and thin jackets. I always feel the urge to go up to them and ask them if the sum total of their thought process while picking out clothes was “But at least my frozen blued-out corpse will be FASHIONABLE!” or something.

        2. A4
          A4 February 13, 2013 at 3:25 pm |

          I made a facemask out of a t-shirt because I didn’t have a “real” one. My pant-layers were a pair of pajamas, a pair of sweatpants, and a pair of snowpants. I don’t have a heavy winter coat, just a thin pleather jacket. That’s why I layer. I think it’s safe to assume these people had a few extra shirts and some pajamas they could have layered on. These are people who are very stylishly dressed for a 40 degree autumn day in more expensive clothes than any i was wearing. And my gloves cost 1.99 at Walgreens.

        3. macavitykitsune
          macavitykitsune February 13, 2013 at 4:39 pm |

          And we’re sure they had heavier coats and hats and gloves they could have been wearing?

          I’m…just gonna go ahead and assume that somebody who swooshes past me in the same expensive car every day, consistently wearing varied designer clothing, has the money to buy heavier clothes, yep.

          (And before somebody gives me the “but thrift stores!” flailing, let me tell you that as somebody who picked up 90% of all her clothing at thrift stores, the heavy stuff is still cheaper than the designer shit even at those stores. I know whereof I speak.)

        4. macavitykitsune
          macavitykitsune February 13, 2013 at 4:42 pm |

          I mean, seriously, I know (ask me how well and from how much personal experience I know!) how many ways people can Perform Richness, but I can see only so much of quacking/talking/dressing like a duck, etc, before concluding the obvious.

        5. A4
          A4 February 13, 2013 at 4:47 pm |

          Also, the idea that people might feel more compelled to use clothing to perform richness than stay warm is an illustration of my point about the detriments of valuing the external appearance of clothes over the internal experience of wearing clothes.

      2. amblingalong
        amblingalong February 13, 2013 at 7:36 pm |

        I have to admit to being one of those people. It drives all my friends crazy but honestly I think I’m missing the gene that makes me get cold; I’m basically comfortable in jeans and a sweatshirt as long as its above 30 degrees F and I hate feeling bundled up.

        1. amblingalong
          amblingalong February 13, 2013 at 7:37 pm |

          I’m so sorry; that should read “it frustrates all my friends” or “it makes all my friends laugh at me.”

    2. The Kittehs' Unpaid Help
      The Kittehs' Unpaid Help February 13, 2013 at 6:43 pm |

      I don’t like how modern day fashion is focused on how people look. I think it’s a dehumanizing perspective. It is very common for people to be expected to analyze and prioritize the way their clothes appear to someone else, rather than the way they feel to the wearer.

      Errm, that IS what fashion is about. There’s also a lot more flexibility now than there was until the twentieth century. The nineteenth, for instance, was very rigid in following fashion. Too far behind the current trend and you were dowdy; too early with it and you were fast. As for comfort – that too is a fairly recent consideration. Look at fashionable clothes (men’s and women’s) from the sixteenth century onward. Comfort simply wasn’t a priority; the shape of the body and the surface decoration and effect were everything. See all those Elizabethan portraits of men with their hands resting on their hips? It’s not solely to draw attention to a fine sword hilt: the sleeves were cut and sewn in that slight bend, so the arm at rest pretty much had to stay that way.

      So while I dislike modern fashion for many reasons, and agree that it can have a dehumanising effect, there is absolutely nothing new about that, and one needs to have the perspective of how much more freedom we do have in clothing than our predecessors (those affected by fashion, ie. the middle to upper classes) did.

      1. A4
        A4 February 13, 2013 at 7:08 pm |

        I didn’t say there was anything new about it. I spoke about modern day fashion because that’s when I live. In the modern day.

        Errm, that IS what fashion is about.

        Errm, that is what YOUR fashion is about. My fashion is about trying to understand how clothes would feel to wear and what function they would add to my life.

        one needs to have the perspective of how much more freedom we do have in clothing than our predecessors (those affected by fashion, ie. the middle to upper classes) did.

        one needs to have the perspective of how much I don’t care about this.

        1. Bagelsan
          Bagelsan February 14, 2013 at 12:52 am |

          Yes, let’s be a snot about a new perspective being added.

  8. Kristen J.
    Kristen J. February 13, 2013 at 11:14 am |

    I think fashion, like beauty, is inherently hierarchical. Maybe in a different world with different institutions it can be solely a method of human expression, but I don’t know how we can get there from here. Meanwhile, its going to be a tool for exercising power against those who fail to meet social norms regardless of what those norms are. Changing those norms such that more women “fit” will reduce suffering (probably), but isn’t, in my view, likely to make fashion more feminist.

    That said…I have no issue with people who love fashion. The kyriarchy is complicated and we all do our bests to negotiate our own desires in that context.

    1. EG
      EG February 13, 2013 at 12:12 pm |

      I don’t think I agree that beauty is inherently hierarchical, any more than any other kind of pleasure is. I love babies and small children, and they’re all beautiful to me. I may think, on looking at my godson “he’s the most beautiful baby in the world,” but I know that I thought the same thing about the baby girl I used to take care, I think the same thing about my cousin’s two daughters, and I’ll think the same about any child I have in the future. And part of that is love, but part of it is that I genuinely find all babies beautiful. I’m not sure why visual pleasure would have to be hierarchical, any more than any kind of pleasure.

  9. Kristen J.
    Kristen J. February 13, 2013 at 12:32 pm |

    I would argue that “beauty” is not just visual pleasure, but a social construct that identifies those who meet certain social norms. Babies are always beautiful, but not all women or all bodies are labeled beautiful. And purposefully so. Beauty is a term used to distinguish between appropriate or desirable attributes and those that are inappropriate or not desireable. If its intended meaning was to convey visual pleasure then we wouldn’t refer to certain women as “handsome” or “attractive” particularly when used in contrast to beautiful. “She wasn’t beautiful, just attractive in her own way.” It wouldn’t be “radical” to call non-conforming women beautiful. And what we call beautiful wouldn’t change over time and in most cases apply to women that are in the most privileged classes. Beauty, in my view, is a function of kyriarchical structures rather than any separate concept of its own.

    1. Kristen J.
      Kristen J. February 13, 2013 at 12:33 pm |

      One day back and already f-ing up the threaded comments. Oy.

      1. EG
        EG February 13, 2013 at 1:08 pm |

        That’s because threaded comments are the worst.

    2. EG
      EG February 13, 2013 at 1:10 pm |

      Hmm. I think I understand it differently. To my way of thinking “handsome,” “attractive,” “pretty,” “striking,” all describe different kinds and nuances of visual pleasure, which is what I understand beauty to mean. I certainly see how “beautiful” can and is often used to mean a kind of visual pleasure that conforms to certain ideals/norms, but for me, that meaning does not/has not supercede(d) the more general one.

      1. matlun
        matlun February 13, 2013 at 1:36 pm |

        I believe I am with EG here.

        For me beauty is in the eye of the beholder. It is indeed a subjective judgement of what “gives visual pleasure”. That judgement is – like many subjective judgments – indirectly influenced by social and cultural norms and ideals, but I do not see it as inherently hierarchical since it is rooted in individual judgement.

        Cultural consensus of who is beautiful can result in privilege and hierarchical structure, but I see that as an effect of culture and not intrinsic to the concept of beauty itself.

        In contrast fashion is much more top-down and hierarchical. You need to listen to the authorities to know what is “in” and “out”. Just subjectively looking good is not fashion.

        1. igglanova
          igglanova February 13, 2013 at 3:07 pm |

          In contrast fashion is much more top-down and hierarchical. You need to listen to the authorities to know what is “in” and “out”. Just subjectively looking good is not fashion.

          Not necessarily. There are certainly many people who view fashion in this rigid and unimaginitve way, but fashion is an art form with much variation and creativity. Alternative fashions have always existed, and continue to flourish; many aspects of punk, goth, or grunge fashion (for example) defy their contemporaneous mainstream fashion rules with great success. The pioneers of those fashions were not simply following the rules.

        2. hotpot
          hotpot February 14, 2013 at 1:49 pm |

          Alternative fashions have always existed, and continue to flourish; many aspects of punk, goth, or grunge fashion (for example) defy their contemporaneous mainstream fashion rules with great success

          Well sure, but aren’t punk, goth or grunge fashion just alternative ways of constructing the hierarchical norms? Sure, it’s not the same group of people constructing what’s “in” and “out”, but it’s still based on the idea that you dress a certain way to signal belonging in an identity which is socially created and reinforced. It’s far from being rooted in individual judgment.

          Also, while different fashions exist, it doesn’t mean that they’re treated equally. Subculture fashions are privileged in a minority of spaces, but can lead to prejudice and/or not being taken seriously in most spaces.

        3. EG
          EG February 14, 2013 at 2:12 pm |

          the idea that you dress a certain way to signal belonging in an identity which is socially created and reinforced. It’s far from being rooted in individual judgment.

          These two things are not mutually exclusive. In fact, I would argue that there is no such thing as individual fashion judgment separate from socially created and reinforced identities. And vice versa.

      2. Tyris
        Tyris February 13, 2013 at 3:09 pm |

        Personal dictionaries don’t exactly make the issue any clearer. Someone may only apply “beautiful” to a landscape and not apply it to people, but they’re not really relevant here.

        That the word is used to describe “visual pleasure that conforms” as well as the more general sense of “visual pleasure,” rather than having its own word… well, it may or may not mean something. We can’t quite articulate what.

        (Side note: anyone who describes all babies as “beautiful” [ref: top of stack] never saw baby Tyris. Ugly little potato.)

    3. arrogantworm
      arrogantworm February 13, 2013 at 6:50 pm |

      “I would argue that “beauty” is not just visual pleasure, but a social construct that identifies those who meet certain social norms. Babies are always beautiful, but not all women or all bodies are labeled beautiful. ”

      Not all babies are considered beautiful, just the ones that meet physical norms.

  10. James
    James February 13, 2013 at 1:32 pm |

    Great post, per usual. I had essentially written off fashion entirely. This was a good wake-up call to say that I’m being a prick if I act like people who follow fashion are being silly.

    1. jrockford
      jrockford February 13, 2013 at 2:19 pm |

      I’m a sports fan, and so, naturally talk to a lot of sports related people. When I hear people remark about how silly it is to be concerned with fashion (and other pursuits often categorized as feminine and therefore frivolous), I think about how they just read their fourth article this week on the status of Joe Mauer’s knee. It’s the same kind of frivolity, repackaged. I wish we could all just accept each other’s frivolities, ha.

  11. Comrade Kevin
    Comrade Kevin February 13, 2013 at 2:03 pm |

    Maybe I’ve been living in the world of hippies and thrift store shoppers too long. From a male perspective, fashion seems complicated. My female friends are usually atypical, happily integrated into the world of men.

    To my eyes, the girlier types are the ones who care one way or another about clothing. Having never been indoctrinated and socialized on this matter, I know I’m missing most of the context. Neither of my sisters were the type to dress up, or even wear makeup.

    My mother is more stereotypically girlie, but I’ve always thought this was because her mother was tomboyish and more comfortable with male company.

    1. Computer Soldier Porygon
      Computer Soldier Porygon February 13, 2013 at 9:13 pm |

      really bizarre input

  12. pitbullgirl65
    pitbullgirl65 February 13, 2013 at 3:15 pm |

    I can’t believe you didn’t mention fur, leather and feathers. I am appalled how popular fur has become again.

    Food for thought a good reason to shop at thrift stores is I’m not supporting the industry with its’ explotive nature (towards humans and animals.) by buying new.

    1. igglanova
      igglanova February 14, 2013 at 12:32 pm |

      I hear you about the fur. The last time I went shopping for a winter coat it was freaking impossible to find anything without at least a fake fur trim. I had to waste so much time parsing individual hairs so I could be certain that ruff wasn’t actually dog fur or something.

  13. Nicole
    Nicole February 13, 2013 at 3:16 pm |

    Wow, this was fantastic.

    I’ve been thinking about fashion a lot and and had concluded that it is feminist as women-dominated aesthetic and interest butttttt.. maybe not. And I’ve tried taking the “I don’t give a damn what they think” approach, and it just doesn’t work. I’ll continue admiring from a far, but thank you for re-grounding my perspective.

  14. SaraC
    SaraC February 13, 2013 at 4:56 pm |

    Great post! Love all of it, particularly the reminder that an interest in fashion is no more frivolous than any other pastime. As someone who is very interested in expressive clothes and personal style but who could not care less about current trends in the industry, I sometimes need to keep perspective.

  15. seisy
    seisy February 13, 2013 at 5:49 pm |

    I’ve always been fairly girly, but fashion is one area where I completely Fail At Being Female. I remember being a teenager and just kind of waiting to finally find fashion magazines interesting rather than boring and pointless, to care enough about outfits to lay them out and obsess over them the night before, because that’s what the girls I knew would talk about, that’s what I read and saw in fiction. And I kind of harbored this secret shame over Not Getting It. I mean, I had clothes that I liked and things that I thought looked cool, and they were generally in the style of the time….and still are, but that awareness of What’s In (this season, as opposed to last season) and the fawning over perfectly hideous styles always kind of bewildered me.

    It took me a long time to realize that being interested in fashion is not a requirement. And that actually, more than a few (though not all) of my friends who performed the role with such diligence were actually just performing because they also thought it was a requirement and had done a better job of internalizing that particular element of our culture than I had.

    Anyway, that’s kind of apropos of nothing. I enjoyed reading this post, the arguments made sense to me but more than that I found it very informative about a world I don’t know much about. Although I did end up feeling a little bit of an echo of that teenage-angst feeling of being an alien. The thought of being able to tell the difference between fall and winter and this year and last year and then being judged on it feels like something so far over my head that I’m not sure I’d even be aware I was being insulted if someone were to bother. I tend to like the clothes that I like. I tend to hate certain fashion trends for making it harder to find the cuts I like, if only because the cuts I don’t like are unflattering and never, ever fit me., and that’s about as far as my fashion knowledge goes.

    Actually, I have no end of hate for current fashion because it’s made it impossible for me to find a) anything with sleeves* b) shoes that fit. Shoes! Shoes are supposed to be the one thing that fit no matter what the style is. (*I can’t find anything that’ll let me move my upper arms or shoulders at all, without being severely restricted and causing the fabric to pull funny)

  16. The Kittehs' Unpaid Help
    The Kittehs' Unpaid Help February 13, 2013 at 6:33 pm |

    I like clothing, and I like the history of fashion, but fashion now? I think most of it’s ugly and has been since the 80s, and for me it’s about finding clothes I like, that are comfortable and flatter my shape. I’ve never seen anything that fits any of those criteria on a runway, which is just as well since I don’t fancy coughing up a month’s pay for any clothing. Even if I didn’t think most fashion was screamingly anti-women, especially the crippling heels around at present, I find so much of it feckin ugly, and the runway not-fashion-just-wanky-designers stuff is the worst.

    1. seisy
      seisy February 13, 2013 at 6:59 pm |

      Oh my god the heels, the heels right now are really just the worst aren’t they? Just when you think they’ve hit the limit, they some how keep managing to make them uglier, more crippling, and more dangerous.

      1. katinphilly
        katinphilly February 13, 2013 at 7:59 pm |

        My friend and I went to our local Macy’s Monday, and our jaws literally dropped passing by the shoe department. I wish I had a phone camera to snap photos, the heels and design of the shoes were so outrageous that you wouldn’t believe it if you didn’t see it for yourself. Just. plain. dangerous. If I tried a pair on and stood up I would topple over like a bowling pin.

      2. karak
        karak February 13, 2013 at 10:33 pm |

        I’m that person that is strangely enthralled with dangerous heels–I own some Steven Madden heels, which are platform stilettos.

        I fear them, but also desire them. The strange thing is I don’t like them for simply being shoes, I like them for what they convey to the people seeing me where them. They are definitely power-shoes, very aggressive and intense.

  17. Ann r
    Ann r February 13, 2013 at 8:07 pm |

    I love this post! Fashion is an issue that I think about quite often as I really love to sew and I also have a thing for vintage fashion. I personally don’t follow high fashion all that much, but I sometimes turn to it for some inspiration. Sure I can find inspiration in a dress or the details of an outfit, but I can make it work for me since I sew. I cannot afford nor fit into what is shown on the runway. I can use the runway as inspiration and make something that fits me and not the other way around.

    I also like to wear vintage clothing. There is quality in vintage that can’t be found in affordable clothing anymore and I am not supporting the current fashion industry by purchasing secondhand clothing. I can also make clothing from vintage patterns. Sometimes I do wonder how wearing vintage style clothing plays into being a feminist. At the end of the day though, I feel since I make the clothes fit me and adapt them to my style and body that I am not placing myself within the constraints that fashion imposed on women at the time. ( And still does.)

    I;d love to know how others feel about liking the vintage aesthetic and tying that to their feminist beliefs.

    1. Bagelsan
      Bagelsan February 14, 2013 at 12:59 am |

      I think vintage can be feminist to the extent that women aren’t told we must cook/sew/knit to be vintage — anything that results in “back into the kitchen, ladies!” starts losing its feminism fast.

  18. FYouMudFlaps
    FYouMudFlaps February 14, 2013 at 7:21 am |

    Yep, glad you got the point in about how fashion is “frivolous” while cars etc are not, due to the gender coding. I mean, how many men go around saying they hate shopping, mostly because it’s overall associated with women? They really mean “shopping for icky girl stuff,” because many of them sure love to shop for things like cars or electronics.

  19. giselle
    giselle February 14, 2013 at 10:57 am |

    i work in fashion in a female only environment, you would not believe the body snarking that goes on . these women are their own worst enemies

  20. Links 2/14/13 | Mike the Mad Biologist
    Links 2/14/13 | Mike the Mad Biologist February 14, 2013 at 4:35 pm |

    [...] With Unemployed Parents Because of Fix the Debt and Other Deficit Hawks When Does a Policy Start? Can fashion fix fashion? It could happen to you too. So Jonah Lehrer Has Apologized. For Money. #ProveitJonah: How Jonah [...]

  21. Fashion and Feminism (or does it have to be “Fashion or Feminism”?) | thefeministblogproject

    [...] to write about Feministe writer Caperton’s article “Can fashion fix fashion?” (http://www.feministe.us/blog/archives/2013/02/12/can-fashion-fix-fashion/), which is about the ways in which the fashion industry is flawed. Caperton states at the beginning [...]

  22. Lovely Links: 2/15/13
    Lovely Links: 2/15/13 February 15, 2013 at 4:17 pm |

    [...] “When it comes to fashion, then, women are socially shamed no matter what we do. Don’t engage at all? There are entire television series dedicated to making you over, since you clearly lack self-esteem. Do a little shopping but at cheap low-end stores? You look ‘trashy.’ Buy pricier items and enjoy it? You’re shallow and materialistic.” (Also see the counterpoint: Can Fashion Fix Fashion?) [...]

  23. Cultural Kaleidoscope: February 16, 2013 | Culture Grinder

    [...] Fashion Week. Feministe has a great article that asks if fashion can fix fashion, analyzing it from a feminist perspective and including issues of consumer culture, sustainability [...]

  24. Sofronia
    Sofronia February 19, 2013 at 8:17 am |

    Fashion, women’s magazines, and all the rest operate on a simple principle, really — to make women feel horrible about themselves so that they’ll buy a lot of stuff that they really don’t need, or wouldn’t even exist without the anxiety and self-hatred that these industries create. If you can ignore all of the relentless negative messages about how inadequate you supposedly are — because of your body size and shape, race, economic class, facial features, ethnicity, hair texture, etc. — and simply enjoy the aesthetics, then I suppose it can be harmless (for me the overall aesthetic created inherently implicates these damaging and politically offensive factors, in addition to often looking simply ridiculous). Personally, I stopped exposing myself to any of it a long time ago, for my own overall mental and emotional health. Just buy clothes that look good on your body and will last, to the extent you can afford to, and don’t bother worrying about this month’s “fashion must-have.” The more women focus on what they are capable of doing, as opposed to how they look, the better off they are in life.

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