On Sunday night, my wife turned on the television half an hour before the Academy Awards were to begin to watch the fashion on the red carpet.
Less than two minutes later she turned it off.
“What’s wrong?” I asked.
“It’s just so stupid,” she said.
I love her so much.
On Monday morning I criticized the existence of a piece in Slate entitled Oscar Shocker! Movie stars rivet the entire world by wearing stunningly conventional evening gowns and all the Oscar fashion talk in general. On Twitter, I questioned why anyone even cares about this nonsense.
A few people responded, questioning how one’s love for red carpet fashion is any different than my love for sports, and my initial response was that they were correct.
My love for the New England Patriots is illogical and fairly stupid.
The love for red carpet fashion is the same.
The people who questioned me were satisfied with his response.
But I think I’ve changed my mind.
Essentially, these people were arguing that it’s not fair to judge a person’s personal interests. To each his own. Some people like sports, Some people like fashion. Some people like bird watching.
Who’s do say which is better?
But I found myself thinking that some areas of interests and some hobbies have inherently more value than others, and there’s noting wrong with valuing one over another.
Take sports versus fashion, for example.
I attend Patriots home games with friends. I spend a day outdoors in the company of friends. While tailgating prior to the game, we cook and enjoying a meal together, listen to music, engage in conversation and meet new people. Then we enter a stadium and watch world class athletes who have trained for the entire lives compete against other world class athletes on the field of play.
Contrast this to the person who sits in front of the television for two hours before an award’s show begins in order to examine the clothing choices of actors entering a theater. These movie stars answer questions like, “Who are you wearing tonight?” and “Which movie do you think will take home Oscar?” Then the next day these actors and actresses are subjected to hundreds, if not thousands, of best and worst dressed photo galleries and glossy magazine covers in a spectacle not unlike high school. Discussion often includes the actor’s weight, nipples, makeup and hair.
Are these two areas of interest really comparable?
If you’re opposed to football because of the violence and sexism that it admittedly embraces, substitute it with tennis. Women’s basketball. Minor league baseball. Soccer. Track and field. The Olympics.
As a parent, would you prefer that your child become a sports fan or a fashion fan?
Would you prefer your child to read an article about Anne Hathaway’s nipples (of which there are hundreds) or one about the rise of women’s soccer in the United States.
I don’t even think all aspects of fashion are bad. As hesitant as I am to admit this (for the ammunition that it will provide my friends on the golf course), I have watched every season of Project Runway and loved them all. Unlike red carpet fashion, Project Runway is a television show that honors creativity, intelligence, competition and excellence. It is a show about designers who utilize their expertise, wits and problem solving skills to create amazing objects in a short period of time.
This is an aspect of fashion that I can embrace.
Even if you want to argue that fashion is better than football (and I could probably make that argument even though I might not believe it), can’t we at least agree that a hierarchy of value exists when it comes to personal interest? That a day spent reading or painting or listening to music or playing tennis with a friend (or even bird watching) has more inherent value than one spent watching Celebrity Rehab III or playing Farmville on Facebook?
“To each his own” is a valid way of viewing the world, but that does not mean that each choice is equal in terms of value and merit.
Some are just stupider than others.
When it comes to the pre-Academy Award red carpet television show, I’ll defer to my wife:
“It’s just so stupid.”