The way I see it, it would be sexist to think that teaching my son how to cook, clean, and serve his family is one step forward for mankind, but then think that teaching my daughter the same thing would be a step backward for womankind.
I’m going to get straight to the point here: Bryan Boy, you are an absolute moron. A senseless, stupid moron. And, believe me, it’s taken several edits for me to get so kind.
Let’s be clear about this before I get going: I don’t make a habit of commenting on peoples’ stupidity, nor am I in the business of singling one person out so blatantly, but this incident is one big, swooping exception.
A few days ago, Bryan Boy tweeted. Nothing bad there (well, I guess that’s debatable). But then he tweeted this:
“Mark your calendars kids! You have less than a month to lose weight and make those bones appear. Fashion month is just around the corner!”
Really, I could type a few four-letter words to summarise and leave it at that, but I won’t. I’ll explain my overriding urge to throttle him scream, because there’s an important message at the bottom of all this.
Since I have no real idea where to begin here, I’ll just start with the fact that Bryan Boy is an absolute moron. I get it, it must be really hard in between receiving freebies, and fashion, and flying off somewhere swanky, and fashion, and sitting on the front row, and fashion, to keep your grasp on the important things.
But, even then, is it so hard to realise how unbelievably irresponsible it’d be to drop a pro-anorexia comment in front of his 353,960 (at time of publishing) followers on Twitter?
Let’s think about this for a minute. Bryan Boy is one of the most influential fashion bloggers to have come from the past decade. His audience is huge. His reach is even further (a quick count of his combined social media accounts comes to 432,215 followers). It stretches around the world and comes back to slap his Balenciaga-clad bum again.
I don’t give two hoots whether he really thinks we should all starve ourselves and find our bones. I care as much about whether he wants to lose weight as the latest bag he bought (read: I don’t).
The fact remains he has a hugely impressionable audience, and at the very least, he could restrain himself from posting potentially harmful messages. Some, like me, will think his tweet is utter nonsense. But the sad part is that some will agree (three out of eight commenters already have (at time of publishing)).
1.6 million people in the UK alone have an eating disorder. Somewhere, this will be all the encouragement a person needs. Maybe it’s a girl who’s reached the final straw after too many ‘fat’ torments. Maybe it’s a boy who (God forbid) wants to be just like Bryan Boy.
For him, it’s a throw away comment. But what he fails to remember behind those ignorant shades is that comment has an affect. This would be awful if it were the first time he’d done this, but it's not. Last year, just before fashion week, he tweeted this:
“i wish it was morning 24/7 i feel thinner in the mornings, my tummy is flat my waist is slimmer and my rib cage pokes through my sweater. jk (sic)"
Hahahaha. Oh, wait, that’s not even remotely funny. Back then I thought it was shameful. One year on, and another nonsensical tweet down, I think it’s downright appalling.
Please, don’t even bother piping up with a ‘can’t you take a joke?’ comment. I can. I can tell bloody funny ones too. But there’s nothing in this that would make a clown laugh. It is utterly, irrevocably irresponsible, as well as completely self-indulgent.
What gets me even more, though (yes, I’m not done yet), is what part he’s playing in the huge size problem we face in the fashion industry. We’re famed (and blamed) for only featuring size zeroes. We’re scorned for the pathetic portrayal of plus-size. We’re constantly criticised for the glamorisation of skinny, perfect, ideal.
But you know what? There are a lot of people out there trying to change it. Organisations like All Walks Beyond The Catwalk is campaigning for diversity on the runways. Last year Vogue launched its worldwide initiative to stop putting underage and underweight models on its pages.
That’s two examples, there are plenty more. Plenty more great work going towards making fashion a better, safer industry. And lo, in one quick tweet, Bryan Boy has undone all the good they’ve worked towards. Brilliant work, idiot.
This isn’t personal. I don’t give two hoots who said it. I’d have written this if it was Bryan Dowling or Bryan Boy that made the comment. Or a blogger with half as many hits. Or a fifth. The point remains that anyone with any form of influence has a responsibility to use that reach wisely.
So please, jump on this band wagon and remind Bryan Boy that he might want to engage his brain from time to time. And for the record? The only bones I want to see are on a plate after a two-hour sitting at Bodeans.