Fashion and Identity Politics

I have to admit that I have a terrible prejudice. Maybe it’s my Puritan heritage, but I have no tolerance for any form of activism that involves sitting around on your ass.  I really don’t have a problem with people who don’t do anything, as long as they don’t pretend to be an activist because they lack the smug aura of self-satisfied hypocrisy

For example, there were a few people on this campus who said that they shaved half of their head in protest to CeCe McDonald’s conviction. Now regardless of whether or not you think that CeCe deserved to be charged with manslaughter, do you really think that shaving half your head is going to make a difference? Is a stupid hair cut is going to make the country less trans-phobic?

I also heard that some people are shaving their heads to show solidarity for cancer patients, and others for prisoners at Gitmo. Ignoring the fact that cancer cells don’t give a shit about hairstyle, wouldn’t the prisoners at Gitmo (provided they would even be aware of it) be more like “Hey, good for you, can you please get me out of here instead?”

This display of activism is so fucking safe, and easy. Shave your head, become a hero.  I am determined to coin a term for these people, and it is passive-ist. It’s not being active, it’s being trendy. I don’t like to mix my politics with fashion.

Fashion has always been part of politics, but here’s the thing: unless you are a politician or a celebrity yourself, your fashion choice makes very little difference on politics.  You know what helps with political issues?  Getting involved in polices. Those who get politics also understand that fashions changes, and even if you can get a progressive fashion trend started, it will be replaced or mutate within a few weeks.  Writing letters to your Congressmen, as small and insignificant as it is, makes more of a difference than a hair cut.  Because in the big picture, the corrupt, inept, incestuous two-party system we all know and love isn’t going to change because of your hair.  But of course, that isn’t what this is about is it. The entire point of the haircut is this bloody self righteousness, that you want people to ask you about your haircut so you can brag about how you know about how unfair the world is.

Photo by Zarah Zahir


  • Reply March 4, 2014


    Why does SLC speaks take Eli Zane seriously? I wanna hear some actual thought provoking discourse not some frustrated white boy with a chip on his shoulder lol

    • Reply March 4, 2014


      and damn tho if u want someone to write about fashion hit up sum1 whos got some style def not this dude

      • Reply March 4, 2014


        This article is about how fashion is unimportant, though. It’s not a style blog. If you just want to insult the writer, go post on his facebook wall or yell at him on campus or something. If you want to comment on the article, comment on the damn article.

  • Reply March 4, 2014

    Elijah Zane

    I wonder why people take me seriously? Well maybe because I speak an alternative view point rather than be a lock step liberal, maybe because I actually argued my point out in a full article, and maybe because SLC Speaks isn’t just the left wing version of Chinese Daily Mail. And while it is painfully obviously what the obvious response is to your comment, but you leave yourself wide open man, but um….why should we listen to you? You aren’t using you using your real name, you aren’t engaging in my actual point, you talk about thought provoking discourse and then don’t offer any yourself, and you then basically just go for very obvious insults. The fact that I am white is a fact, not an proof of anything, considering the racial make up of the campus i dare say you are too, and I’m not in the business of assuming racial back ground= view point. Hell, I wasn’t even talking about race, that didn’t even come up, WTF are you come from. Also the fact that my fashion choices are very limited…well yeah thats true, I buy from thrift stores, side effects of limited funds, but here is the thing, I am talking about fashion politics, not about fashion styles. I don’t care what you wear, just don’t tell me that a stupid hair cut makes you an activist. As to a chip on my shoulder…of course, I’m writing a series of articles about how SLC conforms to group think and is afraid of alternative opinions, and all of my comments are bullies hiding behind the veil of anonymity simply launching personal attacks rather than engaging my argument…and thus proving my point.

    • Reply March 7, 2014


      “Well maybe because I speak an alternative view point.”

      Or it could be that you’re incredibly narcissistic, and every bit as self righteous as the people you attack. Just sayin.

  • Reply March 8, 2014

    Elijah Zane

    You keep claiming that, and yet you seem to never actually back that up. How about you site something from what I’ve written and try to refute it rather than just a series of obvious personal attacks that have no bearing. Being anonymous can bring you many things, but credibility is not one. When you feel like coming to the big boy table and actually discussing anything I claim, feel free. Call me a narcissist all you want, but its like calling me a fascist, it doesn’t actually prove anything.

    • Reply April 25, 2014


      The fact that you’re “so determined to coin a word for these people” with the conviction that it will stick is pretty egotistical. Also, “I don’t like to mix my politics with fashion.” Um…in love with yourself, much? You’re giving yourself credit for separating two things that would actually go well together, seeing as fashion is the outward expression of your personal identity. Then again, your fashion sense speaks volumes about your banality, so you probably mix the two a lot more than you realize.

  • Reply March 30, 2014


    stop saying bloody
    you are american

  • Reply April 22, 2014


    So, aside from producing poorly-written articles bitching about “passive-ists,” what exactly are you doing to make a difference?

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