Example Of Essay On Allison Matthews David’s Lecture On “Fashion Victims”
Allison Matthews David, an associate professor at the School of Fashion at
Ryerson University gave an interesting lecture on toxic and lethal clothing. She specializes in the history of fashion, and her lecture was about toxic clothing and the lengths people will go to for fashion, even if it hurts their health. However, it was not only about women who spend too much money about clothes or wear high heels which hurt their backs. Some clothing and fashions have literally been toxic.
For example, arsenic was used to poison rats and to dye clothing and other textiles green. Hats contained mercury, which poisoned the people who made the hats,
which is why there is an insane character in Alice in Wonderland called the
Mad Hatter. The lecture contained numerous visual examples of absurd and deadly clothing, and examined why we are willing to subject ourselves to torture for the sake of fashion.
According to Matthews-David, humans want to conform , fit in and look good, whether or not it affects their health. Matthews David discussed how clothing was originally designed to protect humans from the elements, but became a socialization mechanism used to show things like social class or “style.” As a result, people have been burned to death from flammable clothing, slowly poisoned by chemicals, and gone bankrupt or mentally insane trying to buy clothing to fit into high society. Furthermore, it is not just woman who are “fashion victims,” men were also exposed to dangerous fashion. She even mentioned that society felt that fashion was frivolous, and pain was just a part of looking good for vain people, a thought that is still evident today when it comes to high heels. It also made me think of Geishas in Japan, who had their feet bound to look smaller, and tattoos, which are seen as painful for the sake of fashion, style, or expression,
Overall, the lecture was interesting and engaging. She ended talking about modern fashion victims. Today, people still wear fashion without thinking about the physical consequences. Tight skinny jeans are like Victorian corsets, they cut off circulation. Lipstick contains lead and research has shown high heels cause spinal problems, and people today are still “willing to suffer for the sake of beauty.”