For four weeks now I have been sitting in front of Youtube with a warm cup of coffee, scrutinizing all the clothes on the world’s runways. The New York and London fashion weeks have happened; now is Milan’s turn, and in a couple of weeks Paris will close the fashion week season.
Yves Saint-Laurent, a fashion role model of mine, once said: “My only battle is to dress women.” I have heard multiple times that fashion was a celebration of the woman, yet why do I find the fashion industry oppressing more than it is celebrating them. There is no doubt in saying that most societies in the world, especially in the West, put a huge stress on the importance of what women should look like.
As I write this, the holy quartet of Spring/Summer 2016 fashion (Paris, Milan, New York, and London) dominate the covers of my Special Edition Vogue magazine. Right now, the magazine lies open to reveal a page covering Jeremy Scott’s last show for Moschino. The women parading on the catwalk look like twigs; it seems that they are about to fall apart. Though I am singling out Jeremy Scott, another designer whom I dearly admire, none of the other brands are better. The same can be seen with Proenza Schouler, Yohji Yamamoto, Vivienne Westwood, and all the rest.
The relationship I entertain with fashion seems so unhealthy: drooling over the gorgeous clothes, yet never looking at the women wearing them. How can an industry that gathers so much media attention not suffer any repercussions for the state of women it is hiring? Why does fashion have to promote body and mental health issues like anorexia and bulimia? How can this go on? How come this has been going on for so long and nobody has done anything about it? Why is the fashion industry compelled to stigmatize so many women for their size to the point that many of them looks ready to fall to pieces? So many of my friends have been through anorexia, bulimia, and other mental health issues due to the insecurity industries like the fashion industry have marketed to girls.
If it weren’t for the somewhat disturbing ethics the fashion industry entertains, I would do everything in my human power to get in the industry. But because of these, I really wouldn’t feel comfortable in that environment. A fair number of my friends back home have already or about to adopt the mindset of the fashion industry. I utterly respect that; it’s such a beautiful art. The worst part is, I can’t do anything about it. I’m just foolishly writing about it. But in the meantime, and as a feminist, I like to believe that the cause of fighting for women is still vital to society – and that includes battling the pressure and the standards set upon women regarding their appearance. Though what I say is painful, the truth is worth more than the latest Manolo Blahnik stilettos, that I can guarantee you.