What is the web-o-sphere angry about this week? A fashion spread inspired by a late poet, a film director with a habit of flashing his penis and Rihanna’s Fenty x Savage Valentine’s Day collection. Here’s everything you need to know.
A Resurfaced Sylvia Plath Fashion Spread Features a Gas Stove
THE STORY: The Internet has unearthed a 2017 fashion merchandise guide from Spanish women’s magazine, Glamour España, which features a page inspired by author and poet, Sylvia Plath. Amidst the various clothing items—a pair of Gucci loafers, a tweed jacket, purple lens sunglasses—the publication included a pink gas stove from Italian appliance designer Smeg. Plath, who was diagnosed with clinical depression at the age of 20, ended her life by putting her head inside a gas stove in 1963, when she was 30 years old.
RIGHTEOUSNESS OF THE RAGE: Yes, this is incredibly tasteless —and it probably would have come across so even if the pink oven were excluded from the page. Sylvia Plath may have a legacy of “compelling and profound literary work” and “austere style with an intellectual air” (these are translated quotes from Glamour España) but she’s still a tragic figure. Pop culture has a strange and somewhat morbid obsession with beautiful women, suffering artists and gruesome death, but that doesn’t make it okay to make light of mental health issues by turning tortured individuals into poster girls for a vintage, academic-chic aesthetic. Let this pulled 2013 Vice ‘Women in Fiction’ issue fashion spread, featuring models posed as famous female writers who have killed themselves, serve as a reminder of that. It’s heartless, not edgy.
Writer and Director of Green Book Are Revealed to Have Problematic Pasts
THE STORY: The Golden Globe-winning drama Green Book has endured a number of headline-dominating controversies since premiering at the Toronto International Film Festival. In November, Viggo Mortensen used the N-Word during a panel. Then, in an interview with Shadow & Act, the family of Don Shirley, played by Mahershala Ali in the film, flatly denied the story of friendship between the pianist and his Italian driver. And then there’s the plot itself, which has been condemned for its ‘white saviour’ narrative by critics.
This week, on the heels of Green Book’s big Golden Globes win, the drama heightened. Newspaper articles from the 1990s resurfaced calling attention to director Peter Farrelly’s past sexual misconduct. (Apparently, he had a habit of flashing his penis at unsuspecting people. This is what he considered a “joke.”) Meanwhile, an old tweet from the film’s producer and co-writer, Nick Vallelonga, revealed that in 2015 he supported Donald Trump’s false claim that in New Jersey “thousands of people were cheering” during 9/11.
RIGHTEOUSNESS OF THE RAGE: I haven’t watched Green Book yet, and to be honest, I’ll probably still try to see it. The movie might be a flattened, feel-good story of race in 1960s America, but after all of the accolades it’s received, I’d at least like to judge it for myself. My viewing, however, will be strongly influenced by the allegations of fabrication from Shirley’s family, and the criticisms of the film that I’ve read.
As for Farrelly and Vallelonga: it’s not that hard to keep your genitals in your pants, and your racist opinions to yourself. There have, at least, been seemingly sincere and quick apologies from both parties — as well as from Participant Media, a company founded on the premise of making movies with socially relevant themes, and the producers behind Green Book. Here’s hoping that the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences isn’t quick to forgive, and doesn’t hesitate before skipping right over both of their names.
Rihanna’s Savage x Fenty Valentine’s Day Collection is Released
THE STORY: In response to Rihanna’s recently launched Savage x Fenty’s Valentine’s Day collection, Twitter user Alysse Dalessandro screen-capped two product images to bring attention to the drastic design differences between the line’s straight and plus-size lingerie.
RIGHTEOUSNESS OF THE RAGE: Savage x Fenty has been lauded as an inclusive, diverse celebration of womanhood. “Lingerie is not just about exploiting the female body, it’s about celebrating it and that’s what Savage x is all about,” Rihanna told Vogue. And when you compare the brand to the likes of Victoria’s Secret, it is clear that they are making strides in the industry.
That said, I can understand how the noticeable changes in design — even if they’re made with the consumers’ best interests in mind — might mislead people to believe that different sizes are suited to different definitions of “sexy.” There is always going to be space to listen to your customers, make change, and improve your product.