“I get that you’re a whole person, but enough already.” I’ll be honest – I didn’t know if I would broach this subject, but that line has stuck with me since I saw it in an instagram comment almost a week ago. There was significant controversy surrounding a blog post written by a popular Parisian blogger about instagram – the blog post, and the associated instagram photo, where the comment I’m quoting appeared, have both been deleted because of the extreme backlash. Before both posts disappeared, I watched from afar as one of the things I admire most about French culture, true freedom of speech – in France, it is not only acceptable but normal to discuss politics and religion in mixed company, even in the work place – got completely out of hand. Not all bloggers feel able, or are willing, to share their opinions on subjects outside of fashion. And there’s nothing wrong with that. But for me, because I am a whole person and also because I am a writer, I can’t imagine limiting the content of my blog posts to a few lines about how I put together a particular outfit. That isn’t my style. I admit that I try acknowledge both sides of every argument, an exercise that is often a bit precarious, because having a blog that no one reads is a bit pointless and if my opinions are offensive, readers won’t come back. The balance that I try to strike is a fine one. I have, on occasion, engaged in self-censorship. But when I read that comment on instagram, I was flabbergasted because, overwhelmingly, the responses that I receive are supportive, even when what I have to say is controversial. It seems to me that not just as bloggers, but as women in the world, we are constantly expected to hit a moving target – if we focus too much on allegedly trivial subjects like fashion and beauty, then we are silly and frivolous, but if we share opinions that others disagree with, then we are judgemental, moralistic and, the term I loathe most of all, too smart for our own good. To me, the suggestion that someone should, in essence, shut off a part of who they are in order to be perceived as more pleasant by their audience – by anyone at all, really, in any context – was utterly galling. And so I felt I had to write about it, because when someone is silenced, whatever their opinions and regardless of whether we agree with them, I believe we have an obligation to speak up for them. I know most of my French readers will know exactly what blogger I am referring to, but I don’t think there is any point in dwelling on it, because what happened could very easily have happened to anyone – the world, sadly, is full of people who feel powerless and who get a momentary sense of power by tearing people, especially women, down rather than building them up. But if we stand together, we can make ourselves heard above the noise they make.
#culottes #louisvuitton #saintlaurent #rayban #moveinmadewell