By Naama Bloom
Today in Paris, Karl Lagerford ended his Chanel Fashion Show with a staged Feminist Protest.
It should come as no surprise to anyone that I take feminism seriously and certainly embrace efforts to push the message of equality forward. However, something about this “protest” left me with a bad taste in my mouth.
There have been many advertisements recently that have leveraged, even co-opted, the Girl Power message. And generally, when asked about it, I am pretty quick to say I love it all. For me, contributing to a dialogue and adding to that dialogue is a net positive. But the Chanel fashion show feels different somehow.
One of the most damaging forces for women and girls today is the standard of unattainable beauty that bombards us daily. The fashion and beauty industry – with a few notable exceptions – are by and large the entities selling us this standard. For years we have watched as this industry has used underweight and underpaid young women to sell us their clothing.
I welcome the embrace of feminism by large companies and brands. However, I believe that embrace needs to accompany some action. Otherwise it’s hard to view it as anything other than a publicity stunt.
If in addition to asking models to carry signs Chanel also announced that they were creating a scholarship program for women, committing to paying even the non-super models a livable wage, or committing to represent multiple body types, then I might believe that this “demonstration” actually meant something.
Without that I’m left with one thought: #notbuyingit.