Style and intelligence are often seen as two very separate things. If you look good, people will sometimes assume that you’re not very bright. And if you have a good brain, you’ll be expected to dress like a stylistically limited awkward character.
Current trends which celebrate stupidity have only reinforced this idea. It just takes a quick flip through style pages to see that lots of those picked to promote and model leading brands aren’t exactly flying the flags for smarts. They’re either there because of celebrity connections or because they have gained media attention for doing something ridiculous and/ or cringe-worthy. On the flipside, smart people who do get media attention aren’t overly glamourised. And if they are thrust into the limelight, they’re probably promoting an educational drive.
Actors like Meryl Streep, AsleyJudd, Dolph Lundgren, Maggie Gyllenhaal, Rashida Jones, David Duchovny, James Franco and model Christy Turlington have degrees, Masters and PhDs in fields as varying as languages, literature, public administration, chemistry, chemical engineering, geology, anthropology and religion. And they aren’t alone.
But smart as they might be, these celebs don’t play on their intelligence or qualifications. Why? Maybe because of the typical rags to riches story we’re often sold which involves some lost dropout/ uneducated lost soul being discovered and propelled to a shiny new life. Ergo, intelligence is not part of the equation. After all, why celebrate intelligence when you can cheer on the latest reality TV idiot? It’s almost as if we need or want glamourous people to be dumbasses.
Of course, there are intelligent celebrities and in everyday life you don’t have to look far to see people who are rocking their jobs and looking extremely good whilst doing it. But it’s not an image that Fashion especially seems keen to embrace. Instead, we’re flooded with images ofpeople living up to the ‘glamorous is extremely dumb’ mantra. And now that society bows to social media, clicks and followers, things are hardly likely to change.
No matter how much we are being brainwashed, stupid is not a good look. It’s certainly not a quality that most rational people want to cultivate and copy. And when it comes to ‘poster people’, it’d be more refreshing to see someone who actually has something to offer rather than cheap tacky clickbait. Time for brands to start growing a backbone and choose ambassadors who show that style is and can be smart. Gasp.