“Being sick isn’t a fashion accessory.” –Kara Nesvig
Many people in the RA/chronic illness/chronic pain communities are up in arms right now over Kimhēkim’s latest runway show during Paris Fashion Week–where leggy models traipsed up and down the runway sporting minimalist “SICK” T-shirts and IV bags. So…they’re gorgeous models who happen to be “sick” yet can still strut their stuff and look “cool” while doing it? What exactly is the message here? Is it supposed to be funny? Quirky? I don’t see the humor in it.
Since when did “sickness” become a fashion statement?
I’m still trying to figure out how I feel about this. Some immediate reactions include: disgust, disappointment, surprise, anger, frustration, and irritation. It seems like “sickness” is being made into some weird sort of gimmick or caricature, therefore demeaning and disrespecting the real lives of those of us who struggle with illness on a daily basis. I’ve been “SICK” with rheumatoid arthritis (RA) for 22 years, and I’ve never once thought it was “cool” or anything close to it. It’s been a nightmare.
The following links are a couple of articles about this controversy, if you want to read more:
Renoir, as most of you probably already know, was a brilliantly gifted and masterful painter. He created some of the most beautiful and well-known works of art during his lifetime. But did you know that he also struggled with severe, crippling rheumatoid arthritis?
Exciting news! I’m partnering with Pfizer to launch a photo-essay series on Arthritis.com on what it’s like living with rheumatoid arthritis (RA). In each photo of the series, I want to help lift the veil of confusion and misconception that often conceals the truth of RA by making the illness a bit more understandable. In all of its pain, struggle, grief and frustration, RA is worth being seen and can even impart lessons of hope and beauty.