Thursday, April 8, 2010

American Fashion: Deviance and the Law

Freedom In Fashion?

Just say NO in Mobile, Alabama
Just Try it in South Padre Island, Texas

Cultural Norms and those who make the Law

"Land of the Free, Home of the Brave" is the best known phrase of the Star Spangled Banner. In America, it all depends as it turns out, on who has the Power in the land and how Brave you're feeling about your fashion choices.
Why you might ask? Well according to my Sociology text book, 'Deviance" varies according to Cultural Norms. Let's face it, when it comes to fashion who is Normal? The Quakers? How about the Native American Indians? What about our Dear Lady Gaga? It seems silly I know, but if you study clothing and fashion as I do you know the wheel of history keeps turning and that means our knowledge of the world of clothing grows and changes with it. Alexander McQueen was an Alien in the fashion world light years ahead of the best and he was labeled a "Deviant" personality. Good thing for us his work was never out-lawed!
Back to my Textbook...Cultural Norms and the way people define "rule breaking" involves Social Power. The Law, claimed Karl Marx, is the means by which powerful people protect their interest." His thoughts are the perfect segue into the obscure and curious fashion related laws we have here in America. "Mobile Alabama for instance has outlawed the wearing of "Stiletto heeled shoes." I'm sure you have noticed the Art Shoe above and wondered Is this A deadly Weapon? Who knows...I'm sure there's a story, a rational philosophy behind this fashion enemy. We can only imagine the fetish witnesses and dancing that finally brought it to justice! How about "South Padre Island, Texas and their legal banishment of neckties?" Sure it can be used to strangle someone, but do we really need to add disclaimer language to this timeless fashion staple?
How about live and let live? I say we allow people to make fashion fools or stars of themselves in every state in America without concern for these strange unenforceable laws. Last time I checked freedom of Speech was still protected under the First Amendment to the Constitution. Sure the right to freedom of speech is not absolute in any country and the right is commonly subject to limitations, such as on "hate speech". Who is "Hating" who here?
Besides when it comes to Social labeling in Fashion, Prada and Burberry enforce Style by the power of their Beauty. Beauty is timeless, it's egalitarian and it's very American!

No comments:

Post a Comment