Out magazine’s fashion department is to be commended for the majority of its work. I am still reeling from the Stephen Sprouse-inspired spread in the March 2009 issue. Their choices are normally thoughtful, and when they’re not spot-on trend, they still serve up pretty amazing editorials.
But that does not give them the excuse to be insensitive and stupid. And really, that’s the only thing we can think of to call the latest installment of their “Live The Life” series, which aims to teach viewers how to emulate the style of Malcolm X.
Yes, Malcolm X, The Muslim activist whose incendiary public speaking rivaled Martin Luther King, Jr.‘s brand of passively resistant protest in the Civil Rights Movement. The man who was shot 16 times by members of his own faith because they didn’t like what he was saying. Yeah. That guy.
First let us say that while Malcolm X was a well-dressed man, his wardrobe should be secondary (tertiary, even) to his commitment to the Civil Rights Movement and to his political clout. But Out’s junior fashion editor Brent Coover says quite plainly, “Enough politics. Let’s get down to playing dress up.” Which, ew.
Secondly, Malcolm X was not the originator of the tie clip, or any other items of 60s men’s style. If the magazine wanted to cite the man as a sartorial paragon of that era that would have been fine, because he kinda was. But we have a sneaking suspicion that the only reason Out picked Malcolm X as an example is because they need a few more thousand pageviews this month to keep whoever is holding the purse strings at Here Media happy. And if anything else, this video is going to shock and anger more than a few people, which, sadly, is one of the best ways to drive traffic on the Internet. And as much as we hate to ask you to watch this video, there’s really no other way that you’ll fully understand just how ridiculous it is.
[Via The Awl]