But when thoughtful articles meet impossible fashion, Glamour starts to seem less like a manual for a sophisticated adulthood and more like an anthropological study of an alien life form. Is this what women are supposed to be like? Am I supposed to be this way/want these things/care about this stuff?
I’m no fashion expert. I admit it! But I take issue with the way fashion is continually presented not as a way to express individual style but instead as a series of expensive, men-love-this-but-not-that necessities.
So here’s a list of the things in Glamour’s September issue that really chafed.
1. The Lancome ad touting “the first doll lash mascara”
Doll lashes: the new, impossible standard! When actual human lashes (or Latisse-enhanced lashes, or fake eyelashes, or the millions of existing mascaras) just won’t suffice.
2. This actual headline: “Clothes You Can’t Move In: Do or Don’t?”
This is a real question? Glamour answers in a series of Johnnie Cochran-style rhymes, with the upshot being it’s cool to wear binding clothes if you have some bulky dudes to carry you around. Anyone know where I can get a few of those?
3. On page 154, Glamour asks Jennifer Lopez to provide style advice for a law student who wants to be taken seriously.
Like Jennifer Lopez would know how to dress for a conservative office environment? That makes as much sense as asking the Kardashians how to dress tactfully.
4. Oh, wait! Glamour did just that! (That’s page 190 if you’re following along at home.)
5. Here’s designer Rachel Roy on riding bikes: “I usually still wear dresses and my Indian thong sandals. Reserve sweats for working out.”
Yes, how dare you wear athletic clothes for an athletic activity! To paraphrase a friend, “My biking shirts wick moisture and have three pockets to keep my hands free. Why aren’t they perfect for everyday?”
6. The very concept of “This Man Will Make You Sexy” on page 162
Apparently sexiness is a quality bestowed upon you by a male fashion designer when you buy something incredibly expensive.
7. And, on a similar note, “The Clothes I Love On Women Now”
What’s problematic here is not that a man is being touted as an expert–he is a fashion designer, after all–but the messages he assigns to clothes. A white collar for “preppy innocence”? Show “some skin, not too much”? Barf.
8. …and still another in this series of Men Telling Women How to Wear Things They’ve Never Actually Worn Themselves! Page 170 brings us “How to Look Sexier in Your Heels.”
A story I could actually use is more like “How to Walk Comfortably in Your Heels So You Can Think About Maybe Trying to Feel Sexy Instead of Concentrating on Remaining Upright, With Extra Tips for Negotiating Subway Stairs in a Pencil Skirt and Heels” but no such luck.
9. “5 New Things to Do With Your Eyes!”
In case you were getting tired of traditional ocular functions like seeing.
10. In “London Calling!” Glamour quotes a Kanye West lyric to describe a coat:
Something about this classic always looks luxe. “Look at this peacoat, tell me he’s broke!”
The coat on this page is made by Gucci. Good thing they clarified it looks luxe, because I sure wouldn’t expect that from a $4K designer piece.