Ashley Wood | Fashion Contraceptive
Who needs protection when there’s Vogue?
Published: Wednesday, September 22, 2010
Updated: Wednesday, September 22, 2010 07:09
Somewhere along the line, we were fooled by the fashion industry. I'm not sure when this occurred — perhaps around the time everyone was sporting Queen Elizabeth I's receding hairline — but regardless, we were made to believe that being fashionable was the same as being attractive.
Ignoring the discrepancy between models for women's magazines and men's magazines (think asparagus vs. pear) and the tendency to only talk about distorted body images, I'm going to focus purely on the clothing and its direct negative correlation with hotness. After all, unless you're attending a Victoria's Secret runway show, the chances of the pieces draped across a hanger−thin model getting said−model laid are minimal. And with the emergence of androgynous styles, goth−chic and the "safari" look hitting the runway, it would seem that in order to be fashionable, you must sacrifice the likelihood of ever snagging a significant other (or, if you're still in the non−committal stage, even someone who just wants to sleep with you).
Now, in case you've been watching too much Bravo and think that the relationship between Rachel Zoe and her (probably gay) husband makes my argument void, I suggest you turn off the television and check out a fashion blog called "The Man Repeller." Leandra Medine, the blogger, defines the act of man−repelling as "outfitting oneself in a sartorially offensive way that will result in repelling members of the opposite sex. Such garments include harem pants, boyfriend jeans, overalls, shoulder pads, full length jumpsuits, jewelry that resembles violent weaponry and clogs." My only disagreement with her newly coined term is that it suggests that "man−repelling" is a conscious decision we make, rather than a fashion industry conspiracy to enforce population control.
Regardless, the conclusion remains the same: Fashion is not sexy. Although I do have a boyfriend (I must've been having a less Vogue, more Paris Hilton/Carl's Jr.−commercial moment when we met), if anything, it will make my claims in this column all the more legitimate. I have a direct reference for man−repelling wardrobe verification. Example: "You mean you don't find my high−watsted, men−inspired trousers sexy?" And in order to further your confidence in my credentials (perhaps at my own expense), I own every item Leandra Medine lists in her definition, from boyfriend jeans to jewelry representing "violent weaponry" (Professor: "Is your necklace a cross or a dagger?" Me: "Ummm … it's, you know, just a knick−knack … well yeah, I guess it is a dagger.")
Don't get me wrong, being fashion week−worthy has its upsides. At your best, you could be mistaken for a model and street−snapped by a handsome metrosexual à la The Sartorialist (not likely), and at your worst, you could be labeled by your friends as "interesting," or in a more backhanded compliment kind of way, "unique" (much more likely). And if you're really, really lucky, you could end up like Rachel Zoe and get a handsome, rich gay man to convince himself that he's in love with you (this goes for both guys and girls ).
However, if after reading this column, you're still convinced that donning designer gear can equal sex and glamour, take a look at Adriana Lima in the fall Givenchy advertisement. Let me know how the sexiest woman alive now looks without eyebrows. That's right, apparently it is now "in vogue" to look like a vampiric−alien−fetus lady. Something tells me society hasn't evolved much since people started shaving their foreheads to imitate the Queen's. Buy hey, Elizabeth I never needed a man either, right?
Ashley Wood is a sophomore majoring in child development. She can be reached at Ashley.Wood@tufts.edu.