You might not think an article about fashion would be the place to go to hear discussions on sensitive topics like transphobia and cultural appropriation. In most cases, you’d be correct. At Refinery29, however, these issues are recognized as relevant to the fashion industry – and at a much larger scale, as well.
response to 29 Lies Fashion Magazines Have Told You – Liza Darwin
Refinery29 is one of my favorite fashion, lifestyle, and all-around female empowerment blogs, and they have recently released a campaign that I stand behind 110%. Their new collection of articles entitled “F*ck the Fashion Rules” gets a strong “HELL YEAH” from me.
With shows like “What not to Wear” and high-fashion magazines galore, we have been taught to stick to certain fashion “rules” that are outdated, unnecessary, and frankly, misogynistic. We see it everywhere, the constant policing of each others’ appearances permeates our lives.
“The types of crop tops on the market today are just as diverse as the women who wear them — so go on, and please, #rockthecroptop.”
Women over a certain weight (its yet unclear where that cut off may be) are told to cover up, cinch the waist, hide the lumps, dress to “flatter” whatever that means, and for the love of god no horizontal stripes. If you’re petite, don’t wear clothes that drown you, no pants too short or shirts too long, the list goes on. These “rules” show just how little wiggle room we have when it comes to wearing clothing deemed “appropriate” to our age, weight, gender, etc.
In revealing the lies that the fashion industry has so successfully planted in our heads through years of constant exposure, Darwin makes her arguments seem obvious. Why should we always be dressing to look skinnier? Why the hell can’t a guy rock some badass stilettos? Who taught us that wearing a $200 dollar top is more chic than a $12 one?
“Being discerning about your own style is way more important than being spoon-fed trends.”
Darwin points out some more serious issues as well – reestablishing that cultural appropriation is a no-go, and that while we should all dress to feel our best, do so with an awareness of the cultural & historical significance of pieces and styles that might not be yours to wear.
In short, what Liza Darwin and Refinery29 are reminding us is that it doesn’t matter. Wear clothes that make you feel powerful, whimsical, wild, magical, bright, inspired, bulletproof. Dress for you, and fuck anyone who says otherwise.