So I went to check out this UCSC fashion blog (here), since I knew some of my friends were featured on it.
Instead of a celebration of all types of fashion, I got a hipster fashion blog that depicts only thin, white and presumably affluent girls in crochet, tribal patterns and flowy skirts or high waisted jean shorts. There were at most 5 people of color shown (all of whom were pretty light-skinned), and only a few men. All of those pictured, men and women alike, depict the same, socially favored body type. Scrolling through, I asked myself: where are the curves? The folds?
How is anyone besides the Porter/Kresge hipster community supposed to relate to this blog? It’s time to stop pretending you aim for a diverse audience and call it what it is. It shouldn’t call itself “UCSC Street Style.” It should be “Porter College White Hipster Fashion.”
As a resident of Porter College from Oakland, CA, I’ve seen more than enough of this awful trend, comprised of grandma flower prints, bandeau tops and culturally appropriated tribal wear, all straight from the closets of Urban Outfitters. When I find a blog claiming to celebrate UCSC style, I expect the variety that we find in UCSC itself, not just the same barefooted white girls who left their conservative hometowns and found the Salvation Army, glorified in carefully edited high-def pictures.
The blog has gotten a number of critical messages along this line of reasoning, since its inception in October of 2011, and its authors always copy-paste the same vague excuse, that “it’s a new project,” and regurgitate the weak promise of more diversity in the future. It’s had an entire school year to come to fruition and it hasn’t.
This poor excuse for a fashion blog reemphasizes society’s highly biased beauty preferences rather than reflecting Santa Cruz’s reputation for forward thinking, diversity and liberalism. Stop reinforcing everything that’s already wrong with society, that’s not why people come to this school or college at all.
This post is not to call hipster fashion wrong or ugly, though I personally don’t find it attractive. It’s to point out that it’s not the only form of beauty or style. I know UCSC isn’t the most culturally diverse school, but there are PoC on campus, and there’s no lack of fashion in these communities. This blog would have you think otherwise.