What Stace had to say on Friday, May 13th, 2011
It’s the Suede/Denim Secret Police

(You get bonus points if you can name the song the title came from.)

So, lately I’ve been putting the TV on in the daytime, while the girls are in school. And is it just me, or is every goddamn show on these days either about cupcakes or makeovers? Seriously. All these “fashion makeover” shows, whose soul purpose seems–to me at least–to be to rip the fucking soul out of people and force them to conform no matter what.

What the fuck, man?

You have “What Not to Wear” on TLC–an update of the British version with Trinny and Susannah which I actually enjoyed to some degree–with some horrible bitch who’s using my name (although to be fair, I think she had it first *cough cough*), who seems to think people don’t even have a right to wear comfortable underwear much less anything else, and has some sort of vendetta against women over the age of thirty wherein we’re all required to dress like librarians. Jesu forfend we, you know, have a personality and express it through clothing, or *gasp* be comfortable instead of prancing around to pick our kids up at exclusive private schools wearing tasteful calf-length skirts and sweaters in dull shades of pink.

You know what? I turned thirty a few years ago. Never mind how many. Less than ten, okay, and that’s what’s important, not that it matters if it was more either because fuck you, clothing Nazi. The second a woman crosses that “thirty” line is not the very moment she must give up showing her legs forever, or the moment she has to stop wearing stuff she likes and retreat into some kind of fucking Ralph Lauren lethargy full of neutral colors, nude lipstick, and one-inch heels.

Except “What Not to Wear” isn’t the only bullshit You-must-conform-to-our-snooty-corporate-standards show on TV. There’s also this crappy “How Do I Look?” thing, which is basically exactly the same: Random Subject had personal style, TV Presenters do their best to stamp it out at any cost. It’s almost like a Goodfellas-style situation: You prefer a certain color? Fuck you, pay me. You like to wear T-shirts? Fuck you, pay me. You live a very casual life, huh? Fuck you, pay me. Like Paulie is controlling the clothing for every woman in the world, except Paulie in this instance is a prudish matron who hates everyone and strongly desires a homogenous society full of country-club look-alikes. We’re all supposed to look like we belong in the Pottery Barn catalog and generally be dressy all the time, and there is absolutely zero thought given to what our lives are, what kinds of people we are, who we are in general. It seems to be especially fun for these dickwads to pick on lower-income women and stay-home moms, too, which says a lot.

It’s slut-shaming on a grand scale, and the slut is any woman who dresses for comfort rather than style, any woman who expresses any form of personal taste rather than buying and wearing whatever she’s told to wear like a good little lemming, any woman who rejects “fashion” and wears what she likes or sees clothing as a way to express herself. Such women are not to be tolerated, the whores, and they must be shown up as evil on national–international–television and made to see how dirty and wrong they are, and how all of the “normal” people should point and laugh and look down their noses.

You know what? Fuck you, What Not to Wear. Fuck you, How Do I Look. I don’t give a fuck what you think. I will continue to wear the things I like to wear. I will continue to wear my skirts above the knee because you know what, skirts below the knee don’t look so good on me and I have nice legs despite being that horrible over-30 age (which of course would normally mean I should retire quietly into the Neutrals-and-Earthtones-convent with skirts that hit my ankles and capri pants and tops that button to the neck and deep, deep regret for my whorish tattoos). I’ll keep wearing black almost exclusively because that’s what I like, and I don’t give a fuck if you don’t like it because who the hell are you? Just because you’re boring doesn’t mean I have to be, and just because you spend all your time studying issues of Vogue doesn’t mean I have to. I will have my own personal style, and I will look the way I want, and I will teach my daughters that they should wear the clothes they like, what makes them happy, what makes them feel good about themselves.

Because you know what? Who they are matters more than what they wear, just like who I am matters more than what I wear. And who I am is someone you can’t fathom in your narrow-minded existence. Who I am is someone you’ll never understand, given how you judge people according to one narrow set of standards, how you think the only worth of people lies in their bank accounts and their conformity to a false ideal.

I won’t conform. I won’t be what you want me to be. I’ll wear what I want, and I don’t give a shit what you think about it. Go fuck yourself, fashionista; all we women are okay just the way we are, and we don’t need you.

21 comments to “It’s the Suede/Denim Secret Police”

  1. Eleni Alexandraki
    · May 13th, 2011 at 12:06 pm · Link

    I really appreciate your opinion BECAUSE I SHARE IT. Who are these people and what is their right to pick on people with personal style or the stay-at-home moms? The more we pressure people to conform, the more we take away their personal freedom.

    You keep wearing those short skirts, Ms. Kane. And show those tattoos, sister.

  2. Betsy Dornbusch
    · May 13th, 2011 at 12:43 pm · Link

    I grew up in the midwest and never fit in. Long about 35 I decided to say “fuck it” and I wear what I want when I want (even though I live in Stepford). Sometimes that’s holey jeans with an evening bag, cuz I like my damn evening bags; I collect them cuz their fun. Sometimes it’s sweats. Sometimes it’s jeans and a slinky top or a sweatshirt or WHATEVER. And I realized the rest of the world really probably doesn’t care, the more I dress for me. Plus I just got another captive piercing and I’m over 40, so there.

    So yeah, show those tats, wear your black, and fuck ’em.

    • Mardel
      · June 9th, 2011 at 1:37 am · Link

      LOL – Good for you Betsy! when I was 45 I finally got my nose pierced – something I’ve wanted to do since I was 9 years old and saw the beautiful facial jewelry on the women from India (natinal geographic magazines)…and then I wasn’t satisfied with that one nostril piercing and got a second one right below it two years later. My two oldest kids thought I was nuts, my husband said (not to me, to someone else) that he wished I hadn’t done it, my two youngest kids didn’t care one way or another..Just recently I had parent of one the the kids I work with say she’s been looking at my piercings for a long time, and wants to get a second one just like mine. I like seeing two little (or sometimes bigger) sparkles in my left nostril. Very happy with it…and with my three tattoos. :)

  3. Leelee
    · May 13th, 2011 at 12:59 pm · Link

    For your clothes here’s a pretty flower.


  4. BernardL
    · May 13th, 2011 at 2:43 pm · Link

    ‘The second a woman crosses that “thirty” line is not the very moment she must give up showing her legs forever, or the moment she has to stop wearing stuff she likes and retreat into some kind of fucking Ralph Lauren lethargy full of neutral colors, nude lipstick, and one-inch heels.’ LOL! That is a very good rif, Stace.

  5. Karen
    · May 13th, 2011 at 2:55 pm · Link

    I have two looks – my “everyday look” of worn jeans and tee-shirts with funky sneakers, and what I like to call my “kick some school personnel ass” clothes (which is kind of a cross between bad-ass goth and soccer mom). For rare special occasions, I own a series of black dresses with goth/steampunk black boots & jackets. They’d totally crucify me on those shows – which I never watch.

    Conformity is for sheep.

  6. Michelle
    · May 13th, 2011 at 3:27 pm · Link

    Women over thirty wearing all black unite! I turned thirty-eight a few months ago and I pretty much wear exclusively black and my hair is still bright pink. Fuck you, fashion police, I wear what I want.

  7. Carrie
    · May 13th, 2011 at 6:10 pm · Link

    I’ll probably have every woman on here tar-and-feather-ing me, but I actually like What Not To Wear. MOST of the time. I can admit, on occasion, they can be a little harsh, but watching that show actually helped me figure out what styles of clothing would look good on me when I was feeling all I-hate-myself-I’m-fat.

    I gained weight (after losing a lot) and felt like absolute shit and didn’t care what I was wearing, in a bad way, as long as it was covering up as much of me as possible and was super baggy. I probably looked about thirty pounds heavier than the 25/30 pounds I had gained.

    I don’t necessarily feel any better about the way I look, mainly because my life is slowly going to hell in a handbasket, but when people ask you if you lost weight when you actually gained it and tell you how nice you look and they aren’t LYING, makes me at least feel better.

    Watching Stacey and Clinton pull other people out of their mopey hole of fashion shittiness helped me pull myself out of mine.

  8. catie james
    · May 13th, 2011 at 10:32 pm · Link

    I get both sides: Stacia’s makes a good point that we’re not all the same and not everyone likes/wants the conservative ensembles featured on What Not to Wear; while like Carrie, I also enjoy watching the show and have seen the boost it can give the women coming out the other end, happy with their new “looks.” For me it comes down to doing what you want: if you’re happy rocking combat boot, T-shirts, jeans, leather jackets, all-black, whatever – go wit’ yo’ bad self; if you like watching and taking style cues from WNTW, more power; maybe you wanna mix ‘n’ match the two? Rock on. IMHO there’s no right or wrong, no single standard; make yourself happy and let the rest go.

    • Carrie
      · May 14th, 2011 at 11:27 am · Link

      I don’t want to give anyone the wrong idea. I think people should dress how they want as long as it makes them feel good. The parts of WNTW that I like are the ones where people don’t like how they look and they don’t know what they want, they’re just dressing the way they always have because that’s what they know.

      I live at both extremes of the fashion spectrum as it were. I own bondage pants and corsets and if I could find a pair of combat boots that didn’t give me blisters I would wear them all the time, but I just as much love a great blazer and a nice pair of trousers or an evening gown and a pair of stilettos. I love shopping at Hot Topic, Old Navy and H&M. My job demands that I know “what’s in style,” but I like taking the trends and giving them my own unique twist when I put outfits together. I wouldn’t be caught dead in most of the things I put on mannequins, but I can appreciate them lol

  9. Katie
    · May 15th, 2011 at 4:49 pm · Link

    I totally agree, falling in line behind every other ecru wearing, uptight, ninny who is wound so tight I’m sure there has to be a family of burs shoved up her butt is soul murder. People who are happy with who they are can be picked out of any crowd instantly but not by their clothes. They’re always the ones smiling because they are happy with just who they are inside and out.
    As a side note though, there needs to be a universal measure of common sense about these sort of things. Just because they make that shiny silver tube top and matching hoochy pants in a 30W doesn’t mean you need to wear it. Spare us all the dry heaves people and express your individuality in a less disgusting way.
    Stacia, you rock!

    • Meagan
      · June 23rd, 2011 at 7:26 pm · Link

      @ Katie-

      Slightly confused by your comment. ❗

      You say:
      “I totally agree, falling in line behind every other ecru wearing, uptight, ninny who is wound so tight I’m sure there has to be a family of burs shoved up her butt is soul murder.”

      Yet then you say…
      “…there needs to be a universal measure of common sense about these sort of things.”

      Just cuz you don’t think I’d look good as a size 30w in a silver tube top with matching hoochie pants doesn’t meant that *I* don’t think I look good that way. 😈

      I thought I wasn’t supposed to follow the crowd, right? I mean you just said I didn’t have to be a conservative, conformitive ninny! :roll: I thought I was supposed to dress how I wanna, for me, so that I feel good?

      But, instead now, because I’m that size, I’m supposed to spare you some dry heaving? Wtf? 👿 If I were a size 4 wearing the same outfit would you feel the same way? Would you all the sudden turn away in disgust pretending to suffer dry heaving drama?

      Doubt it. 😯

      I feel sorry for you. /comfort

      • Carrie
        · June 27th, 2011 at 8:17 am · Link

        Personally, if I saw someone wearing a silver tube top and matching hoochie pants, whether the person was a size 4 or a size 30, I’d still think they looked like a skank. But that’s just me. I don’t really care what size a person is, I don’t want to see the crack of your ass, your ass cheeks or your tits hanging out of something.

        I don’t walk about with my rolls hanging out, I don’t want to have to look at someone else’s!

  10. Elishia
    · May 16th, 2011 at 11:06 am · Link

    blah to What Not To Wear.

    my sister constantly says I should be on that show, because I dress for comfort. PUH-lease.

    I dress up when I need to, and maybe it is just me, but having someone criticize my wardrobe only makes me want to keep wearing to spite them. hehe

  11. Miss Bliss
    · May 17th, 2011 at 1:38 pm · Link

    I will never forget a friend of mine telling me I had to cut my hair short when I turned 30…WTF? Yeah I didn’t do that…nor did I do it at 40…I have cut it, grown it, colored every which way all because it wanted to and it was fun. Not because of my age. I won’t say that my taste hasn’t changed over the years but that’s not the same thing as conforming to some singular image or idea of what a woman can or should look like or how she should dress at any specific age. I love that so many people here, starting with Stacia of course, have pointed out that WHO you are and being happy with that is the most important thing and expressing yourself in any way that increases your sense of self and happiness is a BIG WIN. Those shows do extreme things to get an audience…trust me they encourage the people on them to wear their craziest outfits or their frumpiest outfits because if they didn’t…there would no show.

  12. Miss Bliss
    · May 17th, 2011 at 1:40 pm · Link

    OH…and the post title is Dead Kennedys “California Uber Alles”! Gotta love the DKs.

  13. Lisa S.
    · May 18th, 2011 at 9:34 am · Link

    I’m kinda with Carrie above on this. I love gothy, I love trendy, I love lovely and classic and I will dress to suit myself and the occasion. I also agree that you can’t be a fembot and dress “Only as the fashion Gods Decree” But I also think dressing too tight or too crazy just because your supposed to be “against the establishment, man” :0) is just as much a trap.
    My opinion only (given with lots of hearts and smiley faces – the Lisa Frank trap is hard to pull out of!) and of course your mileage may vary.

  14. April
    · May 24th, 2011 at 11:23 am · Link

    I totally agree with everything you’ve said about makeover shows. Ugh just thinking about them makes me ill.

    I am a sucker for Cupcake Wars and anything involving cakes though. But those aren’t as bad as all these crazy shows about people who allegedly don’t dress well and therefore need some bossy/nosy person to come around and tell them how to blend into the background better.

  15. Seeley deBorn
    · June 1st, 2011 at 5:12 pm · Link

    So that’s where I got the “fuck you pay me” from.

  16. Mardel
    · June 9th, 2011 at 1:45 am · Link

    I don’t mind some of those shows when the person is asking for a makeover…what I hate though, is when someone is happy dressing their own way and their “friend” or daughter make such an issue of being embarrassed of the way they look, or are hypercritical of the looks. I’ve seen a couple where you could tell that the person really was having fun with their own wardrobe and I really don’t agree with being told what you should wear. People have a right to show their own personality and dress how they like.

    I don’t care if someone is overweight or thin either – if they want to wear a tube top, that’s their business and at least they’re comfortable enought with themself to do so. They shouldn’t be called disgusting for that, and not everyone is “disgusted” by the way people look.

    I also love bright colors and think the neutrals and bland and boring. One of the things I do like about aging is that I can wear whatever the hell I like. Be extravagant or toned down – depends on how I feel.

  17. TT
    · June 25th, 2012 at 12:21 pm · Link

    I sooooooooooo agree. Makeover shows are a scourge, but I have to say, ‘How Do I Look’ is just THE WORST!! 😡 The first part of the show is spent brainwashing the victims into believing in the importance of conformity. If they try to protest that people shouldn’t judge on appearances, they are repeatedly met with ‘but they do!’.

    The brainwashing succeeds, bizarrely. I guess it’s because they humiliate them and break their spirits – family and friends gang up and insult them, then emotionally blackmail them, then the show offers them the ‘solution’. Host Jeannie Mai is snide but perky, and comes off like a high school bitch writ large, pretending to be their best friend but being creepily controlling with her vapid pop psychology and her mantra of conformity.

    They often make over girls who are punk, twee, goth, steampunk etc, and Mai seems to have no concept of subculture at all These women are all just clueless morons to her.

    It also has the worst-looking end result of any of these terrible shows. Every single woman’s big reveal has them in the same knee-length cocktail dress, somehow both incredibly conservative and trashy at the same time. Young women are made to look 20 years older. The hairdos are terrible, like cheap wigs. The family/friends/husband cry with joy that the victim is finally ‘normal’. The victim basks in their acceptance. Creepy as fuck.

    Yes, I have watched way too much of this show – it seems too awful to be real, and I just get drawn in by the surreal horror of it all.

Leave a Reply

XHTML: You can use these tags: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <s> <strike> <strong>

Subscribe without commenting