Monday, 20 April 2015

Designers with foot in mouth

It has been reported that Mr Giorgio Armani is the latest fashion designer to say something rather #basic and stupid about a marginalised community of people and this something has very little, if anything, to do with making expensive clothing, beauty products and fragrances.

This stupidity comes shortly after Domenico Dolce and Stefano Gabbana of Dolce & Gabbana criticised same-sex marriages and IVF and let's not forget John Galliano's fall from grace, shall we? It seems we're running out of designers we can still wear with a sound conscience.

Anywho, you'll have no doubt read elsewhere by now that Mr Armani (as he is exclusively referred by the subordinates who work for him) gave an interview to The Sunday Times Magazine over the weekend, in which he stated: 

when homosexuality is exhibited to the extreme – to say, ‘Ah, you know I’m homosexual,’ – that has nothing to do with me.

Here he alludes that to dress and act in any way other than 'traditionally masculine' - what ever the fuck that means - when you're a cis-gendered male, (and, presumably, when you're not cis, can't imagine Mr Armani is up on trans* rights) is inappropriate. He also said, "man should be man."

Let's break it down for old Giorgio, shall we? As there are many things wrong with this statement, combined with the fact that I do love a list, I feel a bullet-point list is necessary...
  • The expression, or some might say, performance, of gender (such as femininity and masculinity) is somewhat separate from gender identity and to say "man should be man," in order to imply that a man acting feminine counteracts his gender identity is quite reductive and demonstrates a very narrow view of gender, which is saddening as Mr Armani is a visionary creative who has had ample opportunity to broaden his horizons and view on the world and has chosen not to. I'd suggest he go read some Judith Butler. Or better yet, hire an educated/gay/educated AND gay PR manager who can say you're being a dick when you're being one and this thing will never happen again
  • Aside from this being discriminatory towards men, and gay men in particular, what does it say about women? Does Mr Armani believe "woman should be woman"? Does this more obvious demonstration of sexism fit more comfortably with the Armani brand, or not?
  • The idea that "flaunting" sexuality is a no no, but exhibiting gender conformity is A OK is contradictory, right? Why is it OK for you to flaunt your manliness in my face, and, seemingly, your heterosexuality, when it's not OK for me to make it clear (through action or in-action) that I'm a big old bender? Cutting straight to basic logistics, how is our everyday homosexual supposed to get some other everyday homosexual to look inside his new Armani boxers if his homosexuality a big old secret?
  • If Armani is so convinced that men should be men, why did your fabulous staff paint me by numbers at the beauty counter when I, a man, reviewed your latest lipstick collection in 2012? Read more here
  • What the fuck has this statement to do with making expensive (albeit) fabulous clothing? I mean, really?
  • Who the fuck do you think is buying your men's clothing? Queens, that's who sweetumz
  • Regardless of simple economics, your right to an opinion is somewhat superseded by your duty as an extremely wealthy public figure and employer of many people around the world to not be an arse hole to minority groups. Show a little class, man
I'm a great believer in free speech, as is any other fully functioning and sane person on this earth and lemme just reiterate an oft forgotten aspect of this human right. People have the right to say whatever they want, unless what they say directly contradicts another's right to be free from harassment and discrimination. 

Mr Armani, I feel let down by you, but aside from personal feeling, I believe your statement to be ill-conceived, ill-founded and ill-judged. You have a right to an opinion and I'd stand by you in defence of your opinion no matter what it was, but you don't have the right to dictate how I or anyone chooses to live their life, dress their bodies and exhibit their idea of gender and sexuality at all and for that, you've lost a friend in me today.

In conclusion, back off bitch, I'm wearing heels...
A photo posted by Jordan McDowell (@jordanjmcdowell) on