Models in the sun

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All too often the asocial of St Andrews utilise fashion season as a means to express their frustration with the vanity of this town. The attacks take a predictable and rather personal tone. More often then not, someone will throw vitriol towards the models, almost always assuming that their beauty must be accompanied by a lack of personality and/or stupidity. People cannot be both stunning and smart, they rationalise to themselves. Instead of really getting to know the models, they take one look at the toned stomachs and regard them as being truncated in character. Look at how they need social verification to feel good about themselves, they say. How embarrassing that they place all their value on their appearance, mock others. To these dissenters of the fashion season, I say, give the fashionista’s a break.

Let me be clear. I am not a model (though the dashing man above suggests otherwise) and I will not be attending any of the fashion shows. I have no dog in this fight. These events are very enjoyable, but after spending three years in this town they do tend to become unsurprising. As with much of life, there is an Anchorman quote which sums up my sentiments: ‘We’ve been going to the same party for the last ten years and in no way is that depressing’.

Fashion, in my view, is an expression of luxuriance and a celebration of appearances. There’s no problem with this, many first world joys can be compartmentalised in this box. Think of 21st birthdays, balls, and so on. Humans have always loved getting dressed up, strutting our stuff and hedonistically living nights away. One could go as far to say that every party in this town, with its paparazzi of women with their cameras, ready to capture their every coquettish moment, are participating in their own little ‘fashion’ shows weekly. Men are not above this, either. I’ve steel-eyed many a camera in my days here, and I will most likely do so in the future. We are all models, in our own little way.

The difference between those that decide to take their looks on a catwalk is that they are comfortable and confident enough to do so. Its no different than the journalists in this town. I am by no means the best opinion writer in St Andrews. The only reason I’m editor is that I had the confidence to fortnightly write about nonsense. Many will con- sider this to be a false connection – that there is a significant difference between these two examples – that the models actively believe that they are the best looking people in town. This, I hate to admit, is largely true – in the popular sense of what it is to be beautiful. They are deeply attractive people – symmetrical faces, no body hair (for women and men) etc… So why should they not be proud of what genetics has bestowed upon them? Like the football player that is born with the ability, it would be a waste if he sat in the bleachers just because to demonstrate his god-given ability would be conceited.

But the footballer, people will say, actually has to practice and work towards being good at what he does, whereas the model needs to roll out of bed and they have done their job. I have watched enough America’s Next Top Model (forced by my sisters, I swear) to know that this is false. What St Andrews will witness over the next month will be extremely well-rehearsed, thought out fashion events. Hours of work, sweat, and tears will have been poured into these endeavours.

While it may not be your cup of tea, I encourage St Andrews students to not take the easy route – to blindly criticise the fashion shows because they represent something you do not necessarily subscribe to. Imagine if we threw the same attacks at the Medieval society, simply be cause they ‘waste their time’ doing something we cannot see as entertaining.

The only reason we don’t attack the Medieval society highlights the common denominator of St Andrews’ problem with fashion season – and that is jealousy. Not to shit on the Medieval society’s parade, but most people are not envious of their exclusive battles and skirmishes. Yet being ogled at by hundreds of your peers, to then be enshrined on Facebook is something very few would not love to experience.

So instead of filling this town with more petty hatred, let the beautiful bask in their moment in the sun this fashion season.

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