Letter to the Editors: Response to voice's Scripps Style Section

Dear Scripps voice, As a newly-avid reader, I cherish the fact that Scripps has its own media outlet that is not overshadowed by the Student Life or the CMC Forum.  I love the fact that confident, courageous and hopeful Scripps students can literally "voice" their own opinions about the events and issues concerning Scripps women and their larger community.  I take voice to be a representation of the Scripps atmosphere and the Scripps mentality: Open and welcoming, while still being intellectual and thought-provoking.  voice, as a student-run newspaper, should be illustrative of the Scripps student as a hard-working, creative, ingenious woman.

I do not think that voice truly personifies the Scripps woman in your "Scripps Style" articles from your past two Features sections.

Sure, the section in your last issue was lighthearted, interesting and fun. Albeit vapid and shallow.  In fact, I was originally fine with the article concept.  I assumed that, with a not-so-newsworthy week, perhaps the voice staff was thinking of creative and exciting ways to spice up the more than half a page that was left over after all of the "real news" had been addressed.  In fact, I had fun looking at my classmates, seeing where they got their fashion inspirations and where they bought their wardrobes.

As a student who's been wearing the same straight-legged jeans since high school and loves re-wearing old, baggy sweaters from my brother and fathers' closets, obviously fashion isn't really so much of a passion of mine so much as a necessary nuisance.  It's evident that we have some very fashionably-enlightened students here at Scripps--I notice every time I step foot in the Motley and someone's wearing a hipster/grunge/hippy/Idon'tevenknow-chic "trying-to-look-like-I'm-not-trying" outfit, or when I stumble into the Humanities Courtyard and see what seems like endless students in their beautiful sundresses and perfectly coiffed side-braided hair.  Without a doubt our students know how to put clothes on their backs.  But do we really need to showcase these sorts of talents?  Is voice aiming to truly display the intellectual beauty of Scripps students, or merely aiming to passively address our culture's consumerist craze?

It wasn't until the article in this past issue that these questions really concerned me.  The caption exclaiming the "hit" of the last Scripps Style article continued with a goal to "keep up the good work" (wait, really?) and explained a new plan to feature "one of your fashionable classmates in each issue."  Okay, voice. I get it. Using up half a page that probably wouldn't go to anything else, it's good to use it addressing the wonderfully diverse, intelligent, amazing students we have on campus.  But, are these REALLY the type of things we want to showcase?  This article (and apparently this new recurring feature) brings women back decades into the vapid, intellectually immature, clothing-obsessed, consumer of the 1950s.

Not to insult anyone, I do treasure (and am quite jealous of) our students’ fashion awareness. But does it really matter that Ms. Carlson has "been rocking some variation of hats, bows and dresses since a very young age"?  Can we not use this space to highlight our students’ intellectual, musical and athletic talents?  A one-time thing was fine, but I know for a fact there are several incredible, motivated and brave students who better, at least in my opinion, demonstrate what it means to be a Scripps student than wannabe fashionistas.

I implore you, for the sake of our Scripps students and for the sake of womankind everywhere, to not resort to perpetuating this societal-induced fashion craze, but instead to break the barriers of social norms, and focus on the inner beauty of our amazing Scripps women.

Sincerely,

Rachel Weiner '13