Sunday, April 27, 2008

Blonde = stupid. OBVIOUSLY

There are two ill thought out stereotypes that annoy me greatly. The first is that women with blonde hair are ditzy idiots and the second that people involved in the fashion industry are morons too dumb to work in a 'proper' field.

As a natural blonde who frequently works as a fashion editor & writer, the usual assumption by strangers is that I am as thick as two short planks. I have become quite exercised by this crass conclusion, but try not to rise to provocation. (I spent my twenties being rather earnest at parties to try to prove there I was more than the sum of my physical parts before realising that I wasn't doing myself any favours. Now I just chuckle quietly to myself.)

Fashion is a multi-millon dollar industry and, although clothing more advanced than a toga or a sarong may be perceived as unnecessary, it's no more unnecessary than any product that is 'designed' to be attractive beyond its essential usage, be it a car, door knob, book or house, so why people persist in thinking of fashion as self-indulgent nonsense is beyond me.

If intelligence can be measured by academic attainment then I didn't do so badly. I read theology & religious studies at university, won the Sixth Form (Junior & Senior years) History Essay Prize, and picked up a GCSE prize for Classical Civilisation (for reasons now obscure I was obsessed with Mithraism, even down to building my own model temple). I haven't lost my passion for these subjects, (although my latin is sadly rusty), & why my brain is considered to have atrophied since I trotted happily down the fashion path will always be a mystery to me.

As this is a rather specific blog, I am always rather thilled when people in fields I admire hugely (& which are unconnected with fashion) give props to my blog, & to be included in a Cambridge Don's list of ten excellent blogs today was, to be frank, bloody marvellous. Classics professor Mary Beard's brilliant (London) Sunday Times blog has been on my blogroll since I started, representing my fascination with the classical world. She is a fantastic writer & observer of the world at large: acerbic, droll, sharp, wry, erudite. I can't recommend her blog highly enough.

In return, I am supposed to name ten more Excellent Blogs. Unfortunately I have recently done a blogosphere round up & continued another meme, so have rather exhausted my blogosphere recommendations for the moment. (Although for newbies to this blog, I've always loved Excellent Blogs Le Style Sauvage & Mode et Utopie for their intellectual spin on fashion.)