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Fashion’s Hidden Implications, Effects

Treyvon Martin

Photo: newspano.com

In Antoine de Saint-Exupery’s children’s novel, “The Little Prince,” the title character encounters a Turkish astronomer. The scientist continues to tell the Prince a story of his astronomical discovery. When he first presents the discovery, he was wearing traditional Turkish clothing, and his fellow scientists regarded him as a fool. Years later, the Astronomer makes the same presentation to the same crowd, only wearing Western clothes and went on to be well-received and respected by the scientific community.

There’s no denying that we judge people by the clothes their backs. We will formulate preconceived notions and take the visual as a first impression based on the person in question is wearing. It is off these judgments we base our actions.

The most recent illustration of this mindset is Treyvon Martin, the Florida teenager shot and killed on Feb. 26.

All legal jargon and technicalities aside, what has become more of an icon–and, perhaps subsequently, more of a controversial issue–than Martin or the shooting, is what this teenager was wearing at the time of his death: a hoodie.

National TV news anchors have worn sweatshirts during broadcasts in protest. Lawmakers, lawyers, political pundits and teachers are wearing sweatshirts to work. There have been “Million Hoodie” marches throughout the nation since mainstream media has taken hold of the issue. But worst of all is the full-on war the conservative media has taken against the article of clothing.

Fox News correspondent Geraldo Rivera responded to this tragedy by urging minority families to discourage their children from wearing sweatshirts, as the article of clothing was to blame for Martin’s death.

Now, before I address the absolute ridiculousness of Rivera’s assertion, allow me to digress:

Remember last April when Toronto police officer Michael Sanguinetti said that if women didn’t want to get raped or sexually assaulted, they “should avoid dressing like sluts”?

That’s right, this guy actually argued that if “provocatively dressed” women were raped or sexually abused, it was their fault.

Slutwalks have been held around the nation since Constable Sanguinettis sexist remark that women who dress provocatively are at fault for sexual abuse.

Photo: guardian.co.uk

His vilifying words toward women are no better than the actual meaning, and I can’t help but compare the Martin case with Sanguinetti.

How has our society moved from blaming the doer to blaming the wearer?

Granted, as I previously noted, I understand one’s attire has an effect on our perception of them.  However, Sanguinetti and Rivera have essentially asserted the same point. The difference? Rivera is garnering support from Fox News and like-minded citizens; Sanguinetti was metaphorically burned on a stake by women around the world.

In the minority world, do we just prefer women over blacks? Is it easier – or perhaps more acceptable – to remain xenophobic and racist than it is to be sexist? What do you think?

And is anyone really going to be banishing hoodies and mini skirts from their wardrobe?



How Much is Too Much?

Courtesy of People.com

Courtesy of People.com

I’ll be honest, People Magazine’s latest cover story has gotten under my skin. As soon as I saw Heidi Montag on the cover with the headline Addicted To Plastic Surgery, I wanted to read more. People’s website doesn’t tell the whole story, but I will. It’s estimated that The Hills star had  $300,000 worth of work done, including liposuction from her hips and thighs, botox injections to fix ‘lines’ — she’s 23, so I’m not entirely sure where these lines are — as well as revisions of her nose and breast augmentations. She had a total of 10 procedures done in one day.

The article states that Heidi didn’t even inform her family that she was getting all of these adjustments made. She told them she was sick after she went under the knife, but didn’t explain that it was because of her surgeries. The photos in People are what really got me, which Samantha Chang, a blogger from The Examiner was nice enough to post on the internets. Since Heidi also states in the article that she is nowhere done with the surgeries, Chang wonders if Heidi will turn out looking like Manhattan socialite Jocelyn Wildenstein, while a blog from Fox News‘ website wonders if Heidi will be the next Joan Rivers. I wondered the same thing as the Fox News writer – I mean how could you not, with the Golden Globes red carpet and all?

I really feel bad for Heidi more than anything. Every girl and even some guys have had their fare share of body issues. The doctor that operated on Heidi says that she doesn’t have body dysmorphic disorder but she states that she’s not anywhere near finished getting work done, even after being in extreme pain and needing assistance breathing after surgery. Something’s wrong. I also feel bad for every little girl that sees Heidi’s picture on newsstands at the supermarket and thinks that Heidi is the ideal she must live up to.

We also found this man-girdle thing this weekend in the back of the coupon section of the newspaper. It made us feel like we were losing our minds a little. It can be found on a website called Four Corners, which has a whole host of odd things that will most likely be on a television near you at 4am very soon.

On the not so crazy side of things, Glamour has some ideas on how to dress plus size bodies, Wallpaper* City Guides are now available as apps for iPhone and iPod touch, Self Magazine wants you to get more sleep, and Target is coming out with a line from Jean Paul Gaultier. Have a non blurry peek, and try not to let the craziness get to you today.