Bittersweet threads

I clicked on an article by Melissa Singer. Here’s why.

I had mayonnaise on my finger and when I went to click a link on my iPad I accidentally mashed an article titled “The rise of the plain white T-shirt as a status symbol”. I’m not entirely sure why I read it instead of backing out but it happened. It’s the first and last time (hopefully) I read anything “lifestyle” related on the Fairfax network.

To be honest it got me thinking more about the materialistic lifestyle and the motivation some people have to write about it, rather than T-shirts specifically. I’ve been trying to picture what goes on in Melissa’s mind, how her value system is structured. Clearly, knowing “facts” about fashion rank highly. But I cannot think of anything more inconsequential than knowledge about a celebrity’s wardrobe. To build a career on, and write regularly about, who is wearing what brand and who helped them make the decision to do so is so bereft of any human meaning or consequence that it’s hard to picture someone choosing to focus on the topic.

Part of the humble white T-shirt’s rise to the top of the fashion tree clearly has to do with the dominance of athleisure and sport-luxe in the wardrobe paradigm over the past few years.

Ah yes! The “wardrobe paradigm”! And here I was worried about the cascade of sexual misconduct claims in the entertainment sector, Jerusalem being recognised as Israel’s capital, whether or not Sam Dastiari is actually a Chinese agent and if my chickens are broody. Working out if “athleisure” is a word (hint: it isn’t) is pretty low on my list of priorities. And whether or not so-and-so consulted for Justin Bieber or a Kardashian is of so little interest to the bulk of humanity I felt embarrassed reading the article. She tries to add a little developed nation / 3rd world spice to the narrative with an offhand link to the usual “Factory workers are being exploited” kind of article but mainly focuses on the likes of Kanye West and Christine Centenera. Is this really content that deserves space on the front of one of Australia’s biggest newspapers? The answer is clearly no. But, given the revenue oriented clickbate nature of “journalism” these days it’s not unexpected. But it is lamentable.