Fashion Police, Part 1

By Angel Perkins, Editor of Bremen Enquirer & Advance-News

For those of you who don’t know, the fashion police are a fictitious group or fashion-conscious specialists whose only purpose is to assure that people aren’t walking along like Barbie dolls that one’s Little Brother dressed — and if they are, they correct them. While normally I can’t stand the shows on TV telling us what to or not to wear, I do believe someone should be able to call a foul when one is made. Because of this, I do enjoy the plasticized Joan Rivers (though I can’t look at her face too long without thinking of those creepy wax statues) and her entourage including Kelly Osbourne, Giuliana Rancic and George Kotsiopoulos on the E Channel.
Why them and not the other style shows and channels? Because they say it like it is.
Mind you, I don’t always refer to a page of Vogue or Cosmo before I dress in the morning and I’m not the type of girl to choose an outfit as it is displayed in a store window (I learned long ago that what the mannequin wears is not going to look the same on my muffin top, busty, five-foot-two frame.). I’m not the type of girl to spend more than $25 on a shirt unless it is for someone else.
But something about watching a beautiful starlet get bashed for wearing one of Valentino’s fabric masterpieces makes me feel good about myself while I sit on my couch wearing sweatpants, with unkempt hair forced into a ponytail as I scarf down a jelly-filled donut. If I were a movie star walking the red carpet, or even letting out my dog, I would refer to the E crew before doing getting dressed every morning just so I wouldn’t have to take the verbal public lashing. Because I am not, if I have a day off or a sleep-in morning, and my house catches fire, you might see me wearing an ensemble that looks like I dressed myself from a Goodwill box while my eyes were closed.
Rivers’ show includes segments titled Rack Report — where a celebrity’s identity is guessed solely on the amount of cleavage revealed in a photo; the similarly-presented Guess Me From Behind — where the hosts guess a celebrity based solely from a snap of their behind; Busted — where celebrities are caught wearing the same outfit at two or more different events; Gotta have it!, Make it Stop! — where new trends among celebrities are discussed deciding weather we should have them or make them stop; Hot Ticket — in which the panelist discuss looks by celebrities shown at the premiere of a movie or an Hollywood event; and S!@$ (rhymes with cut) Cut — during which Rivers and the panelists comment on celebrities choosing to cut their dresses shorter than the original length.
But my favorite segments of the shows are Bi$c! Stole My Look — where two or more stars are shown wearing the same outfit during which Joan and the panelists declare which person they think looked best in it; and Starlet or Streetwalker — where they show a photograph of a person with their face hidden and they have to decide which job category the person in the picture files their W2s under. Now, while I acknowledge that prostitution, especially if it involves those younger than 18 or those that are forced into the career, is appalling and a thing that should be stopped entirely, it has been a profession that traced back decades before Biblical documentation.
Unlike those involved with the Huffington Post article regarding Girls Educational and Mentoring Services (GEMS) who has started a petition to make the show omit that portion, I think the segment only hurts the ones they are saying look like the streetwalker, not the actual employee. I disagree that the portion of the E show is harmful and stigmatizing to young girls.
Quite the contrary in my opinion. I feel it shows the girls that how they dress is being noticed by other people and often noticed for the wrong reasons, because they are giving off the same impression as those being ridiculed on the show. I don’t think the show is condoning prostitution or making light of prostitutes’ challenges or rights. Would opponents of the show think that comparing attire worn by celebrities to that of homeless people mean the show’s hosts are belittling those living on the streets or making fun of their plight? They could compare the clothing the movie star is wearing to a lawyer (if he was wearing a suit), or a princess (if she was wearing a bell-shaped, ruffled gown) and nobody would see it as an affront to attorneys or royalty.

Perkins is a Pilot News Group staff writer. Find her column and respond at (in the blog section).