‘Fashion Police’ should stay, but it needs big changes – St. Cloud Times
In my Life column last week, I wrote about the dearth of decent clothing in plus-size fashion. Today, I’m looking at “Fashion Police,” the troubled E! TV show. A reader could (very incorrectly) surmise that I consider myself fashionable. Anyone who has seen me on Sundays at IHOP in my sweatpants knows better.
But I am a Joan Ranger, and nothing regarding “Fashion Police” was handled especially well after Joan Rivers’ death. The show was her baby, and now it’s on hiatus (life support).
Let me be clear: I laughed at many of Joan’s jokes, but I rolled my eyes at just as many. But I don’t think comedy should be censored. The audience votes with its laughter.
People may be quick to be cruel, but others are quick to shout down anything they perceive as offensive. Does that make “Fashion Police” as outdated as bell bottoms? Is there still a place for a TV show that is around basically to just to rip on celebrities when we have the entire Internet for that? Or does the interest in fashion in general show that we still care what the beautiful people are wearing? (Spoiler alert: I’m pretty sure we do.)
First, a “how did ‘Fashion Police’ get here” primer for those who have spent the past few months otherwise preoccupied with things that matter in the long run:
1. Joan Rivers died after surgery in September.
2. The show replaced her (rather quickly) with Kathy Griffin, who like Joan is a tell-it-like-it-is comedian.
3. “Fashion Police” panelist Giuliana Rancic makes a stupid remark about Zendaya’s hairstyle at the Oscars on a “Fashion Police” episode. Zendaya is a gorgeous young biracial actress/singer who wore locs that night; Rancic made a lame at best, racist at worst, joke about her smelling of weed.
4. “Fashion Police” panelist Kelly Osbourne quits over the joke, quickly followed by Griffin, who claims she wanted to take “Fashion Police” in a different direction in which the outfits, not the people, are the targets. All fine and good, except that, as many have pointed out, Osbourne and Griffin have made plenty of nasty, personal jokes about other celebrities for years, so were they upset over the Zendaya remarks, or did they just want to jump ship and needed a good excuse?
This has led a lot of people to say that E! should cancel “Fashion Police” and move on; that the show is sanctioned bullying. I’d like to see it stay around, with some changes:
•Judging the outfits, not the person, is the right move no matter what (many feminist websites that feature fashion do this successfully anyway).
•Start completely over with the panel. Rancic didn’t bring much to the table anyway. Ideally it should be a mix of people who are well versed in the world of fashion and people with great personalities. I don’t think a comic needs to be necessarily included. If jokes swipe at what people are wearing, let them be organic and not a writer-penned remark attempting to be edgy.
•Who would be good for that panel? Reports have included names such as Chrissy Teigen and Amber Rose. Who knows if that’s legit or a publicist plant, but either could be good. Teigen has shown on Twitter that she has a great sense of humor, and with her modeling background she likely understands both fashion’s importance and its ridiculousness.
I’d love to see one of my personal favorites, Margaret Cho, there, too; the Asian-American comic identifies as queer and has a long history with the LGBTQ community, so she understands what it’s like to be “the other” and could bring a much-needed perspective that probably way more of us could find relatable. Plus, she speaks up for people of size, so I can’t imagine her slamming a plus-size celebrity for the easy laugh.
•Please, E!, stay away from the Kardashians for the panel. They are near saturation at this point. If you have to pick a member from that family, try Kanye West — his clothing line may have some strange items, but he truly cares about fashion, interned for Fendi, and he would definitely come with a strong set of opinions. (Of course, his ex Amber Rose and he probably couldn’t co-exist.)
•Sure, we all like to judge what the rich people wear, but maybe devote a segment to styles that are attainable for the everyman or everywoman. High fashion rips off street style anyway. There are so many good fashion bloggers/Tumblr users out there who have creative ideas that even the little people can afford. Why couldn’t one of them be a guest on the panel and be critiqued? The show could end up being a hybrid of “Fashion Police” and that once-great MTV show “House of Style” that teens of the ’90s like myself loved watching even if we weren’t fashion plates.
Yep, that would make a different show, but maybe one that would be around for the long haul. And maybe it’s not one that Joan would have recognized, but it’s not going to be the same show without her. It can be a better one, though, than what was on the air earlier this year.
This is the opinion of arts and entertainment reporter Kate Kompas. Follow her on Twitter @copygirlkate, or call her at 259-3620.