Monday, December 8, 2008

The Worst Part of Censorship is...

During a discussion in my English seminar at school we debated over censorship. From The Chronicles of Narnia and Of Mice and Men, many novels treasured by people all over the world get censored all the time. However, books aren't the only things censored in our society; all sorts of things are censored including music, television, movies, maps, and even education.


Notice the difference between the two ads?
Demi Moore's cleavage and knees are
covered with black ink under the Iranian
regulations.
It took me a while to finally realize that fashion has been censored in so many ways. There have been many advertisements that have been banned because they were vulgar or sexually implicit. And think of the people outside of the fashion industry that don't fully understand the "ugly" side of the industry. It's incredible how much we don't know because it's been hidden from our eyes.

Other countries seem to have it even worse. An interesting article on Iranian fashion by Chris Mohney surprised me. Many Western magazines are "heavily censored by the government who cover forbidden ladyparts with white stickers or black ink." Can you believe that these forbidden ladyparts include bare arms, knees, or cleavage?

A while back I wrote about one controversial advertisement created by Lucie Boshier. I sort of regret my comment on the whole advertisement:
"I find the cartoon a little offensive and I'm not sure if I would feel comfortable with kids looking at the this when they are walking through the streets. Maybe it's because I don't want to acknowledge the fact that the fashion industry isn't so glamorous and that there are many dangerous aspects of the industry."

Although it's still offensive to me, I now disagree with my reasoning that children should not see the ad. By hiding facts from society, I feel that everyone is losing rather than gaining. I think it's better in the long run for people to be able to express their thoughts and for the viewers to actually be able to see that without intervention.

So does that mean I'm totally against censorship? No, but I feel that there is a very fine line in determining whether something should be censored or not. I agree with the words of Charles Bukowski:
Censorship is the tool of those who have the need to hide actualities from themselves and others. Their fear is only their inability to face what is real. Somewhere in their upbringing they were shielded against the total facts of our experience. They were only taught to look one way when many ways exist.

40 comments:

deep_in_vogue said...

Great post. And you bring up an interesting point. It is one thing to express you mind, another to be outwardly vulgar and offensive, don't you think? I think you were right the first time around, I don't think kids should be subjected to images like that. I think there is a way to approach those that would be interested in whatever you want to express without shoving it down the throat of an unwilling audience.

roxanne said...

really interesting post! i guess i never thought about how censorship directly affects fashion, and it can be even be seen in the use of photoshopping for instance.. clearly editors have an agenda for what kinds of images they want to get out there, and unfortunately several people are unaware that they're reacting to and perhaps emulating a doctored image.

[Tara] said...

Don't regret what you said earlier about the ad... it made sense. Censorship is a difficult and complex issue -- it is easy to feel one way about it one day, and then change your mind under different circumstances the nest day. Basically, it is just good that we live in a society where we can talk about it openly...

cheers,
Tara

Sammy said...

just added your link!
love your blog

bri said...

ahh thanks for telling me!!!
and so true about the censorship thing. i say BARE IT ALL! lol, kidding.

A dreamer said...

i fixed up the link on my blog now...
great post. got me thinking a lot.
well I'd always want to know the truth, and the full story. So despite how confronting images etc are I wouldn't want them to be censored if the message/truth was being censored.

Dana said...

Thank you for visiting my blog!

This post is really interesting, sp the part about Iranian fashion.

Yes, I´m excited about the scrapbook! And I suck at baking lol, but it's never late to learn, right? Thanks!

Lluviaschick said...

i`m realli in love with blair waldorf style!!! love her headbands!!

MizzJ said...

A very thought-provoking article! It's a really fine line between what is valid for censoring and what isn't, and that line changes between person to person. I'd say that ad is a little cheeky, but not offensive to the point where I'd cover a child's eyes, but that's just me.

atelier said...

I hate censorship, I think is something to be ashamed of, and more in the times we are living!

A Black Tie Event said...

this is an interesting topic. by trying to protect our innocence, it ends up hurting us. and sure i'll link you! i had you linked but then accidentally delted my list so i'll add you right away.

Brie said...

It's kinda cool that you were able to change your mind about something you said earlier - I can understand both sides, and sometimes censorship isn't just black and white. In the end, I agree with what you said, that censorship is sometimes used to hide real things, yet it's necessary other times. By the way, I like how this is a fashion blog, yet it has SUBSTANCE. Great job!

enc said...

I'm not sure why people are so afraid of the truth.

Grayburn said...

I believe in reporting as it is..it is the only way to get better and learn..perhaps for us to know not to make the same mistake again.

The Clothes Horse said...

Cenorship is terrible, but we should have control over what we want to see as well. I mean ads that offend me shouldn't appear in my mail! When I venture into a public sector then the censorship is wrong, but people should have the ability to choose not to see certain things.

Couture Carrie said...

Wow that is shocking! Really informative post, darling!
Updated your link too :)

xoxox,
CC

*~The World is My Catwalk~* said...

Wow! I loved the thoughts and insights on a topic we may subconsciously think about but never actually take time to look at. It is true keeping the innocent - "innocent" may hurt them more than exposing them early.. and EDUCATING them on what is right and wrong. I guess EDUCATION and GUIDANCE are the keys.

the.ramonas said...

try french magazines.... they're not afraid to show a little skin!

love,
the.ramonas

Katie said...

I found your post on censorship in fashion to be very interesting and intelligent-- as an English/journalism major in college, I remember reading a lot about censorship in regards to what people write, but I haven't done much thinking about how things are censored in terms of fashion advertisements, etc. This is my first time visiting your blog but I'll definitely be back!

ANDY said...

Cute blog!!!!

Stompface said...

Fantastic post. Very interesting topic.

How amazing is your blog! I have a feeling it will eat up a lot of my time reading through it all!

x

Anonymous said...

I've randomly come across you're blog - very interesting! I love the way you write and inform readers and give your opinion.

I've just spent an hour or so going back and reading all your posts, definitely a blog i'll be bookmarking! =)

Juliet said...

I think it is ridiculous how anything even midly sexual is censored in US. Here we get to see the actual things.
When an ad is censored in here it usually is chavinist.

juliet xxx

emma said...

check out the new issue some time...
www.pockettozine.com

the fashion assistant said...

Very very interesting post. This is a very difficult issue to answer this, clearly it's all about sex, and sex sells. It's pretty much everywhere, I do believe in censorship depending how much you're revealing it and certain countries like Hong Kong, their country is very conservative....censorship? It's heavy.

Fashionista said...

Wow, I totally agree with your post. It's true, a lot of things are hidden from the outside world and made to look "beautiful", which exists not only in the fashion and marketing industries, but also in daily life on a regular basis..

KiKi said...

very good post!!!

*clap clap*

Juxtaposition Design said...

Very interesting post! I had no idea that a magazine would be censored in such a way.
Also, that Karl Largerfield ad is pretty funny..but I guess it really takes that right person to not be too offended by that.

Great blog by the way!

Atika Mulyawati said...

great post :)

jennifer said...

"Other countries seem to have it even worse. An interesting article on Iranian fashion by Chris Mohney surprised me. Many Western magazines are "heavily censored by the government who cover forbidden ladyparts with white stickers or black ink." Can you believe that these forbidden ladyparts include bare arms, knees, or cleavage?"

Did you consider that it is because Iran is a Muslim country and most women there dress in traditional garments which cover their arms, legs, hair and occasionally faces? I think before making a large statement such as "other countries seem to have it a lot worse" you need to analyze your position in the world in comparison to a culturally different society for which you are not apart of. Although your intentions are not bad and I think it is important to critique and be aware of what is going on around us (in this case censorhip), i think it is also important to understand how different customs and religion come into play cross culturally. just some food for thought.

miss a. said...

Like Jennifer said, I think there's a point in which what would be considered censorship in the U.S. is actually an exercise of choice in a different country. Many feminists in the U.S. argue that hijab dress is oppressive against a woman's choice of sartorial expression. But then again, if a woman deliberately chooses to wear hijab, would that be considered oppression as well? There's a thin line when it comes to comparing western ideals to those of traditional beliefs of the non-west or "other."

But I'm definitely against censorship of literature. If it's meant for an older crowd, tag it as such and require I.D. upon purchase, much like how Penthouse & Playboy are sold.

Fashion cameleon said...

I totally agree with you. I dont like that add at all, but it makes you think, and that can never be a bad thing.

Mary Kate said...

This post was very informative and eye opening! Great job!

Silver Girl said...

Amazing Blog!

I add you to my favourites!

XX

Iheartfashion said...

Interesting post!
I'm far more offended by images of violence than sex, and more likely to censor that stuff when it comes to what I let my kids look at.

Yours truly said...

Hey fashionaddictgirl,

I'm a regular reader of your blog. I think you bring up interesting and valid points and you write well. On this topic of censorship, yes it is true that censoring certain content just because it is the ugly side to what is perceived as perfect is not good, because then things are being covered up and people do not see the true side (or rather, both sides) of what they are looking at. However, I feel that censoring sexually explicit/vulgar content from children is perfectly fine. By doing so, we are not trying to hide from them reality nor are we trying to cover the 'ugly side' of things. Children are very easily influenced and by exposing them to such content, we might actually be teaching them to follow what is shown.


Just my view of things.

cheers :)

batates_777 said...

Hey
How interesting is that ?! I really loved the topic ! coz we face it , live with it..and ppl here are like always complain about it
some with it , some against it
i agree that its a fine line between what to censor and what not ? however it will be smth relative all along.
for instance, i still see that AD you once talked about , is still shouldnot be shown to kids and revealed at this very yung age, they will get to know it and see iit later , but they dont hv to see it n know it at that early stage, i mean it should come in the right timing..othrwise, they will be exposed widely..and might be danger then.

Simone said...

i think the really weird thing that they do here in the US in relation to censorship is that they photoshop the nipples off of women if they're visible underneath a sheer garment.

like, they're just nipples. it's more unnatural to see nipple-less boobs.

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