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Saturday, June 15
The Indiana Daily Student


The feminist fashion fad

Ever since Emma Watson’s HeForShe speech at the United Nations, the topic of feminism has been on everyone’s mind. Watson is a U.N. Women Goodwill ?Ambassador.

That being said, I think people aren’t taking it as a real-world issue.

They’re taking it as a trendy thing to be into, such as hot yoga or pumpkin spice lattes.

Feminism has become ?a fad.

Earlier this week, Chanel’s creative director, Karl Lagerfeld,  launched the fashion empire’s spring/summer 2015 collection in Paris.  The finale was a staged feminist movement galvanized by supermodels carrying protest signs and quilted Chanel megaphones.

The signs read “History is Her Story too”  and “Ladies First,”  among many others. On the surface, this may seem like a positive ?message.

It proves how fashion and art can become politically involved.

However, the simple idea of a man holding open a door for a woman and saying “Ladies first” is gender-discriminatory.

Although it’s polite, the man is still the one opening the door, allowing her to ?enter.

This fashion show is just one example of how pop culture can shed a negative light on an advancing social issue.

Feminism is about men and women getting fair and equal treatment. This idea should extend into jobs, salary and legal issues.

Another sign, which read “He For She,”  was specifically targeted toward the campaign backed by Watson.

Women’s fashion is about women, designed for women. Therefore, there’s not a ton of room for men to join the conversation.

During Watson’s speech at the U.N., she discussed how men are not included.  By having feminism as the theme of Chanel’s show, it furthers the idea that men aren’t invited into the ?discussion.

Widening the gap between men and women isn’t going to help progress or advocate for anyone.

The late founder of the clothing brand, Coco Chanel,  was a pioneer in feminism. In the 1920s, her clothing liberated females. She defied gender expectations by creating women’s business apparel that was inspired from the structure and style of menswear.

Unfortunately, Lagerfeld hasn’t historically been a feminist advocate.

Lagerfeld has previously told the press “It would have been difficult to have an ugly daughter”  and “No one wants to see curvy women.”

Newsflash, Lagerfeld. Women are naturally curvy, and daughters should never be called ugly by anyone, especially their parents.

No one would want to rally behind his views on feminine stereotypes. Therefore, no one would want to join him in his so-called “fight” to end gender discrimination.

Lagerfeld’s naïve statements to the press further prove he isn’t looking to change the issue of gender inequality. He’s simply taking the spotlight that’s currently on feminism and jumping on the bandwagon.

It’s just like the Ice Bucket Challenge. Dropping a bucket of cold water on one’s head is just as likely to aid ALS as a fashion line is going to aid the 21st-century feminist movement.

Lagerfeld is treating feminism like a game. But the reality is we can’t throw our controllers aside and quit.

We are all players, and right now we’re all losing.

Trends are only trendy for so long.

In 2006, people threw out their bell-bottoms when they were no longer in style. Who’s to say in 2016 we won’t dismiss feminism when it’s declared a fashion faux pas?

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