Wednesday, February 07, 2007

Sound off: Celeb political fashion

There is no doubt that fashion is political. What you wear makes a statement. It can say, "I shop here," signifying support for a certain brand or store. It can say, "I may not look like a man, but I can do anything I damn well want," like a navy blue 1980's power suit, complete with shoulder pads and a severe, boxy skirt. It can say "Make love, not war," like denim bellbottoms and a peasant blouse.

People have been wearing Che t-shirts for years, and other folks will wear their Reagan shirts in protest. But celebrities are taking their political statements to a whole new level: they're wearing them on the red carpet.

First off, can the average individual ignore the seeming incongruency between the lifestyle of a movie star (especially one strutting their stuff on the red carpet in designer jewelry and clothing) and those he or she claims to represent/care about with a simple t-shirt?

And does it do a disservice to the cause to have a celebrity--who may be out of public favor in an instant for any number of reasons--wearing their political statement on their backs?

Or does it really matter? Does the attention and money that a celebrity brings to a cause cancel out the irony, the possible self-promotion involved, or the risks brought on by the tenuous nature of American celebrity?