A letter to Alex Perry and the “fashion” industry.

(i have been itching to let this sexist, body fascist jerk have it for years and i finally have the opportunity)

Dear Alex, and those in the “fashion” industry, but mostly alex. 

I read with absolute dismay some of the comments you have made to contestants on Australia’s next top model and whilst i get as a “judge” it’s your “job” I think you’ve taken insulting women who have absolutely nothing wrong with their bodies to a whole new level.  Your primary audience, is young women.  Are you not aware of the fact that young Australian women have some of the highest rates of eating disorders in the western world?   From a very early age, we are not encouraged to love our bodies, in which ever form they take. We are constantly being bombarded with images in the media which depict waif like models most of them who are either drug addicts, alcoholics or borderline anorexics themselves.  Young women do not see realistic depictions of themselves in these images, but they believe that these depictions are what they should aspiring to, and will go to often near fatal lengths to achieve this image.   Did you also not think that your words will have consequences for your primary audience?  these young women who view your “show” will look at the women you are insulting and think..shit… if she’s fat, then what the hell am I.  It often takes only one insult, one word, or set of circumstances to cause major repercussions for a very long time.

But let’s take a step back.   You’re a man. A fashion designer, yes. But you are a man.  For decades, men have been dictating to women how their bodies should be looked at, and how they should look. (the CEOs of most major cosmetic companies are men, most high ranking fashion designers are men, who design clothes for women)  As a man, what fucking right do you have to tell ANYONE, particularly women how they should look.  I mean, for goodness sake, you wear sunglasses, on your head, all the time. (and from a very reliable source who spotted you at melbourne fashion week last year you often wear them on. inside. idiot.)   But that’s beside the point.  It sends the completely wrong message to particularly young women, but women generally. It sends the message that the sole purpose of their bodies is to be approved of by men.  I have heard SO MANY young women say “if I only didn’t have a weird nose (insert young teenage boy’s name here) would like me.  or ” i hate my legs, they are so ugly” sure, you might want to dismiss it as usual teenage self consciousness but there is a distinct diference between that and the rampant body hatred that is increasing amongst our youth.  Messages like yours promote the culture of body hatred, they reduce people to neuroses about something that is perfectly normal, fine, and worth loving the way it is – themselves.   What alarmed me the most was the woman in the line of fire, a healthy, incredibly naturally beautiful young woman, was both hurt at your remarks but also said they were most likely the “reality of the industry”… nuh uh mate, nothing that makes women feel bad about themselves should be the “reality” of any industry.

if you want to dismiss this as lefty feminist ranting,  fine, but visit any eating disorders unit at any hospital and see the repercussions of the strive for “beauty”.  It is simply not worth dying for.  A culture of love, acceptance and peace with ourselves needs to be fostered, and you cannot be allowed to air your views if this culture is to ever be created and the harmful trends reversed.  They might be ok in the design room,  but out in public they are simply hurtful and downright inappropriate.

My body does not conform to any image.  It is healthy, but when measured against conventional standards, it falls well short. it is routinely considered “ugly” and mocked in the street.  I have even had a man tell me that sexual assault would be the only way I get sex, as no one would want to “fuck a fatty”… But you know what, fuck them. and fuck you too.  you have no right to tell me what is and isn’t beautiful.  My body is 100 percent mine. and I absolutely love it, for all it’s “failings”. 

to get some well needed education on the harmful effects of your remarks i strongly advise you to check out  www.thebutterflyfoundation.org.au 

sincerely yours

an annoyed but body loving “fatty”

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