Do Fashion Sites Have Any Moral Obligations?

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I am an avid reader of and The writers of these fashion sites are funny, smart and socially conscious. So it rubs me the wrong way that there is no discussion allowed in regard to the unhealthily skinny women they feature on their sites.

Angelina Jolie is so skinny, it’s scary. She looks to be wasting away. I don’t know if this is on purpose, but she is very unhealthy looking. Same thing with Keira Knightley. Rachel Zoe. Kelly Ripa. Kyra Sedgewick. Nicole Richie. I could name dozens. And if anyone on these sites says anything about the weight of the women, they are hushed up and told to not “body shame.”

Same thing with domestic abuse. Charlize Theron is dating Sean Penn. I did an earlier post on him. He tied up his ex-wife Madonna for 9 hours and beat her. He allowed her to go after performing a sexual act on him and pretending she had to use the bathroom. He dangled a photographer from his hotel balcony after finding him hiding in his hotel room – instead of calling security. Charlize Theron witnessed her mother kill her father after domestic abuse. One doesn’t have to be a psychologist to see that this screams pathology. But the writers on the site don’t really address these things. Should they?

What is our responsibility as writers? What if you have a huge audience, as both of those sites do? Do they comment on the unhealthy bodies they display on their pages? Do they censor Charlize and Sean Penn?

I don’t know. I do know that I get very upset seeing Penn held up as a celebrity. It says a great deal about us, and the culture of celebrity: how much we will allow a “famous” person to get away with before we run them out on a rail. Something to ponder.


What are they thinking?

Charlize Theron, wealthy, famous and beautiful, is dating Sean Penn, he of the abusing-Madonna-fame. He is such a good liberal, no? Speaking out against the Iraq war, so concerned for soldiers. Which is good, but might have meant more if he hadn’t done the following:

After he got good and drunk (again), Penn climbed into Madonna’s house, where she was alone. He then grabbed her, tied her to a chair, and assaulted her for hours, both physically and emotionally. He then went out for more booze, came back, and kept up the beating. Madonna only escaped after telling Penn that she had to go to the bathroom, which meant he had no problem battering, beating, bloodying, and bruising the supposed love of his life, but felt it would have been too degrading to make her pee in front of him.

Penn Tied Up and Assaulted Madonna

Here’s some more violent incidents Penn fostered:
Beats photographer, hangs another over balcony

If he weren’t a wealthy actor, he would be in jail. But I digress.

He’s an abuser who got away with it. But what about the women who love him? He married Robin Wright and they had a family. Really? That sounds like a good idea? And now Theron? I am starting to think that these women have some serious emotional issues themselves.

I have great sympathy for women in abusive relationships who do not have an easy way out: no money, no family, no support. But for women with financial means and ability to support themselves to get involved with someone so did what Penn allegedly did? There is something seriously wrong here. And to see them splashed all over the media with no mention of his past crimes is a mark on our society as well.