Today, yet another magazine has decided to tell women what to do with their boobs.
Shockingly, my anger isn’t directed at the Daily Mail ‘Sidebar of Shame’ in this instance.
Nope. This time, it’s Vogue – the pinnacle of fashion – that is telling women to cover up their breasts in the name of demurity, setting gender equality back… Oh, I don’t know, about 70 years?
An article appears in the magazine’s Decemeber issue, titled Desperately Seeking Cleavage, which reads:
The cleavage – those magnificent mounds pushed together to display sexual empowerment, to seduce, to inspire lust or even just to show off – is over, or at least, taking a well-earned break.
The t*** will not be out for the lads. Or for anyone else, for that matter.
While assuming women only get they’re ‘tits out for the lads’ is very short-sighted, even worse is this writer’s all-encompassing directive.
She can do whatever she wants with her cleavage and am saddened to read an article published, in this so-called fashion oracle, that does not extend that same respect to its readers.
Stylist Elizabeth Saltzman explained the new attitudes to cleavage, referencing celebrity culture and online commentators’ lude reactions to photographs of women wearing low-cut tops and dresses.
With reference to one public figure, she said:
On those occasions where her cleavage is more visible, I see what happens on her Instagram feeds afterwards, and out of about 100,000 comments, 90,000 will be about her boobs.
That’s not healthy, that’s creepy.
While I agree that some online comments can be gross, misogynistic and totally, utterly heart-breaking for the women at which their directed – famous or not – surely it is inadvisable to combat online harassment and sexism by suggesting women should cover up.
The onus here is on the commentators and the platforms on which they comment. Instead, we should be banning the sexist commentators and boosting moderation – and the breasts, if that’s your cup of tea.
The article continues:
Rejecting the stereotypes of gender has been brought sharply into focus, with the days of women as eye-candy, their sexuality positively smouldering rather than subtly played out, officially over.
Undoubtedly androgynous styles and genderless fashion brands are going some way to smash these stereotypes, but I can tell you that those styles are rather limiting for ladies with bigger busts.
Why not just enable women to wear whatever the hell they want; whatever neckline suits them best and makes them feel most comfortable and stylish?
The article is somewhat reductive and equally hypocritical, particularly considering only a few months ago, Vogue was dolling out their top cleavage tips.
Vogue consistently champions low-cut styles from high-end fashion houses in their glossy ads, but this article seems to tell women on the street that the same rules peddled out for supermodels don’t apply to us.
Just take YSL, the fashion house who sent plunging black leather necklines and bare breasts down the runway at Fashion Week.
What of Dior’s new collection, designed by Maria Grazia Chiuri, which emphasises femininity according to the wearer’s definition?
Are we not supposed to admire the design flair of Versace anymore, because the luxury brand dresses women in low necks and long skirts?
After the magazine was criticised for slamming fashion bloggers recently, this just confirms what we already knew: Vogue shows its readers fashion that is aspirational, unattainable and ultimately, the reserve of the slim, beautiful, rich people.
Is this article incredibly backward-thinking and un-feminist or just another way in which the fashion industry – and its bible – is alienating the female form?