What is the web-o-sphere angry about this week? From a writer bemoaning the inclusivity of today’s fashion industry to trouble behind-the-scenes at Big Little Lies, here’s everything you need to know.
Bret Easton Ellis says the modelling industry has become too inclusive
THE STORY: In an essay for Vogue Italia, which was excerpted in Business of Fashion, writer Bret Easton Ellis talked about his 1998 novel Glamorama and how that world of hyper-exclusive model and celebrity circles doesn’t exist today. “What would Glamorama look like today in a culture seemingly obsessed with inclusivity and the idea of groupthink over the individual and valuing ideology over aesthetics? Where a sizeable faction thinks everyone should be equal with one another?” he wrote. “This is a world where the body positivity movement says all bodies are beautiful and if you don’t find a heavy-set woman or a plus-sized model attractive, you are in fact body-shaming her and need to be cancelled. If everyone is beautiful then nobody is beautiful.”
RIGHTEOUSNESS OF THE RAGE:
Ellis’ new book, titled White, touches on what many white men are taking umbrage at these days: progressive politics, a push for inclusivity and diversity, a newfound culture of “wokeness,” and a pushback against toxic masculinity. Unfortunately, bemoaning a generation of people for thinking “everyone should be equal with one another” and criticizing the celebration of diverse bodies is something we’ve heard before. But in actuality, his critique that the fashion industry has lost the allure born of its “inaccessibility and exclusivity” isn’t even well founded. Yes, there may be more women of colour, plus-sized models, and trans women on the runway than there were in the ’90s—the homogenous heyday of the tall, white, leggy supermodel—but it’s been a slow journey that can hardly be described as equitable even today. The “beautiful” bodies he’s reminiscing about are still the ones we see dominating campaigns and runways, and as much as people might be pushing for body positivity, there’s still a long way to go before we get to the world Ellis seems so set against.
Andrea Arnold wasn’t allowed full creative control of Big Little Lies Season 2
THE STORY: Celebrated British filmmaker Andrea Arnold was brought on for the second season of the award-winning show and promised “free rein” to create the show with her style and vision. But as IndieWire just reported in a breaking story, “there was a dramatic shift in late 2018 as the show was yanked away from Arnold, and creative control was handed over to executive producer and Season 1 director Jean-Marc Vallée.”
RIGHTEOUSNESS OF THE RAGE:
According to IndieWire, who spoke to sources close to the executive producers, “it had always been the plan, although unbeknownst to Arnold, for Vallée to become re-involved in the show last fall.” This is just another example of a woman, despite her myriad qualifications (and in Arnold’s case, an Oscar!), to not be trusted to deliver a solid product. For this to happen on a show with many women in power behind the scenes (including Reese Witherspoon and Nicole Kidman), makes it an even stranger turn of events and serves to underscore just how far we have to go before women’s capabilities are accepted and acknowledged the same way as men’s.
Jermaine Dupri thinks all female rappers are “rapping about the same thing”
THE STORY: In an interview with People Now, rapper Jermain Dupri was asked to name his current favourite female rapper, and said this: “I can’t really say. You know the reason I can’t say? [It’s] because I feel like they all rapping about the same thing, and I don’t think they’re showing us who’s the best rapper. For me, it’s like strippers rapping. As far as rap goes, I’m not getting who is the best rapper. I’m getting, like, ‘Oh OK. You got a story about you dancing in the club. You got a story about you dancing in the club. You got a story about you dancing in the club.’ OK, who’s going to be the rapper?”He then said, “At some point, somebody’s going to have to break out of that mold and just…talk about other things [and] just rap about other things besides that.”
RIGHTEOUSNESS OF THE RAGE:
Dupri’s comments are pretty rich considering the rap industry is built almost exclusively on lyrics about sex, women, money and drugs, to the point that it’s been regularly called out for its misogyny and toxic masculinity. And of course there’s the added layer of condescension directed towards his female peers (something women around the world, regardless of profession, are unfortunately accustomed to). Cardi B fired back though, saying in a video posted to her Instagram that while there are plenty of female artists rapping about other topics, they don’t get the same level of attention. “OK, guys. So, I have seen a lot of people write that, nowadays, female rappers only talk about their p—y and shit. And now that Jermaine Dupri brung it up, now I’m going to say something about it, right? First of all, I rap about my p—y because she’s my best friend. You know what I’m saying? And second of all, it’s because it seems like that’s what people want to hear. There’s a lot of female rappers that be rappin’ their ass off and don’t be talkin’ about their p—y and don’t be talkin’ about, you know, getting down and dirty, and y’all don’t be supporting them. Y’all don’t be supporting them, and they be mad dope.” Whether or not you agree with Cardi B about what listeners want to hear, the hypocrisy of Dupri’s original statement is genuinely baffling.