Elizabeth Nolan Brown // Blog

media. music. feminism. food. city-dwelling. story-telling. and other things.

Fashion Writing

with 2 comments

My friend Melanie is offended by my post on women journalists. She writes:

“Love Liz, but I find her response really condescending. Good fashion writing is not “fluff stuff.” Need proof? Washington Post Fashion Editor Robin Givhan won a Pulitzer for her work in 2006. While I agree fashion is not a “serious” issue, that doesn’t make it unimportant or render fashion writers second-class journalists. I follow politics, but I don’t have an interest in writing about it. My ability to grasp “‘real’ political issues, like military endeavors, campaigns, taxes, etc.” has nothing to do with it.”

So—for the record—I never meant to imply I think all fashion (or fitness or celebrity or beauty or relationship) writing is fluff (nor that all business or news writing is non-fluff, for that matter). But I think we can all agree “5 Ways to Get Beach Hair” or “14 Ways to Surprise Your Valentine Feb. 14” is. And that’s the kind of stuff there’s a bigger freelance market for than the type of fashion-writing that wins Pulitzers. That said, I also never meant to imply that it doesn’t take a certain skill to write even the fluff (sometimes writing short can be sooo much tougher than writing long), nor that the writers of said fluff were writing it because they weren’t capable of grasping more serious stuff. All I was saying is that because women journalists have the option of writing—and getting paid for—this stuff, less of them may tackle military endeavors, campaigns and taxes.

This conversation was somewhat spawned by Phoebe’s post here (“I still think there’s something to the idea that fashion-as-shallowness is a sexist construction”), and she’s on about fashion again today, asking ‘What makes good fashion writing?‘ Meanwhile, I just read today (via Joanne McNeil) that “1/3 of U.S. women recently surveyed by America’s Research Group said they plan no clothing purchases–none–in 2009.


Written by Elizabeth

February 2, 2009 at 12:34 pm

Posted in Culture, Feminism, Media

Tagged with , , ,

2 Responses

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  1. Hehe. Thanks for the clarification, Liz.


    February 2, 2009 at 11:03 pm

  2. Great Fashion Tips..!


    March 18, 2009 at 10:36 am

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