Photo: Getty Images

“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:

Teen Vogue“Kimhēkim is Being Called Out on Instagram for Using IV Bags as an Accessory”

The Independent“Kimhēkim: Fashion Brand Criticised for Using IV Drips in Runway Show”

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