I like to dress my hairy legs well!
As Maps has taken some editorial license with my post below I feel I need to elaborate on and clarify a few points.
1. I was invited to contribute to this Blog by Maps!
2. I understand Maps' dislike of the fashion industry but that does not mean he shouldn't care about how he dresses (why doesn't he get creative with opshops, markets, buying from small local designers and from creative types, and so on?). There's no excuse for being scruffy!
3. As I have worked within the fashion industry it may seem hypocritical for me to criticise parts of it (it may appear that I am complicit in the problem) but I would like to clarify what my roles have been. I worked as the Sales, Marketing and PR Manager for a friends' small, creative, NZ label. Their focus was always on creating unique clothes for the independent woman. The clothes were all NZ made and used many artistic original screen prints to make their fabrics creative and unique. They also never used anorexic looking models in their fashion shows (in fact one of the designers of the label, who is just of average height, modeled in our shows on occasion). I have also worked for 'plus' size labels, creating good quality New Zealand garments for women size 12 - 30. The New Zealand fashion industry is better in its attitude towards body image than other fashion industries around the world (e.g. Australia) and I hardly ever heard NZ designers criticise models for their body shape (though that should never happen and larger models, shorter models etc should also be used).
4. For me the issue isn't about rejecting beautiful clothes and opting out of fashion all together: it is, as Maps has written, about a 'revolution in the attitudes of women, and young women in particular, towards the industry and towards the whole notion of what a woman should look like.’ We should look again at what is considered beautiful within pop culture and the fashion industry, as the current climate of the fashion industry is oppressive and negative. We should celebrate all shapes and sizes but we should also be able to enjoy being creative with what we wear and wear garments that are made out of good quality sumptuous fabrics.
5. "if she thinks that the Blair government can have anything to do with a solution to the madness of starvation chic" - I don't think that governments can have much to do with the change. Jowell was just jumping on the bandwagon to gain some publicity and be seen to be doing the "right" thing be women. It will take a whole societal shift in thinking to stop the celebration of skeletal Barbie dolls. And by the way, I think hair on women can be hot too! But I still like to dress well with my hairy legs! It's always annoyed me that I can't fit into "high" fashion garments (most labels only go up to a size 14 and I'm a size 18) but on the other hand it makes me have to be more creative with where I buy and what I wear - often getting garments that are just what I want! But the fact that the fashion industry only goes up to a size 14 is inherently wrong and exclusive and a situation that all women should be outraged by!
6. If anyone's interested in seeing Maps' current idea of fashion, they should check out this hot photo...