It seems some women just don’t understand the meaning of solidarity. Alexandra Shulman, former editor of British Vogue, voiced some, let’s just say, rather unpopular opinions, and boy… is she feeling the backlash. In her regular column for the UK’s Daily Mail, she singled out supermodel Helena Christensen for scrutiny, criticizing her choice of attire at the recent birthday party of Gigi Hadid. Christensen, 50, opted to wear high-waisted jeans (following the denim theme), and a black lace bustier to the celebration, prompting Shulman to, in no uncertain terms, make her thoughts clear, headlining the piece, “I’m sorry Helena Christensen, you ARE too old to wear that.” Well, not that anyone was asking… but, okay.
She called the top “tacky,” supposing she wore it “to show she’s not past it.” Wow. She even unfavourably contrasted her with the birthday girl, who went with a plain white t-shirt for the occasion. Shulman went on to decry society’s double standards, saying when women’s bodies have passed child-bearing age, “we find flaunting them disturbing and slightly tragic. I don’t claim that this is fair. But it’s true.” Well, op-eds like hers certainly do nothing to help dismantle such hypocrisies, do they? We’re not sure what’s more galling, that one woman had the nerve to call out another with such a blatant display of ageism, or that said woman had editorial control over one of Britain’s – and the world’s – most influential fashion publications for 25 years.
Helena looked great, by the way.
Christensen for her part, took a dignified stand against the piece, posting a photo of herself wearing the bustier, with the caption, “Let’s continue to elevate and support each other, all you beautiful, smart, fun, sexy, hard working, talented, nurturing women out there,” with the pointed hashtag, “#ooopssheworeabustieragain.”
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And happily, a number of her celeb pals came to her defence, leaving supportive messages beneath her post. Julianne Moore said, “U always do, my lovely friend,” fellow model Linda Evangelista piped up that, “She should be ashamed of herself. You are a goddess.” Naomi Campbell added, “Such a cheap shot, she has no right or claims to be writing such a ridiculous article… I’ve known you 30 years and whatever you wear, you wear it WELL with class and dignity!! Hold your head high and keep your drive. Love you always,” whilst Angela Bassett quipped, “Gorgeous in and out!”, with Karen Elson replying “I just read that article. B*tch please…you are on fire!” In fact, Shulman’s successor at Vogue, current editor Edward Enninful, was quick to distance himself from her stance too, commenting, “You are BEAUTIFUL inside and out.”
It’s a shame, because Christensen rose to fame in the 1990s as one of the elite group of supermodels, along with the likes of Cindy Crawford, Naomi Campbell, Linda Evangelista, Claudia Schiffer, and Christy Turlington, and many times graced the cover of Vogue. So… we’re not sure she has anything to prove to anyone. Here’s hoping that in future, Shulman, and those of her ilk, will think twice before writing such nonsense.