And Today’s Issue is Skirted, by Kanye West
by zoé b
Kanye West is not known for being timid—at Hurricane relief drives or anywhere.
Taking the mic last night for musical rather than conversational purposes, West nonetheless managed to shock the viewers of the 12-12-12 Concert—which benefited Hurricane Sandy relief efforts—by appearing on stage in a hoodie, a leather skirt, and leather leggings.
My first thought (vocalized): “What is Kanye wearing?”
Second: “Didn’t I see the Man Repeller wearing a very similar outfit last year?”
Third (also vocalized): “I actually kind of like this.”
And a lingering thought: Is this actually shocking? Sure, it’s not the norm for Western men to wear skirts, but it’s not unheard, and in a world that is becoming increasingly less gender-biased, in a society in which the ditching of gender-specific anything is becoming more and more popular, does it matter if West wears a skirt? If women can wear pants, why can’t men wear skirts?
Clearly Kanye is trying to be edgy/artistic/trendy/whatever. For me, it was just the latter—the ‘whatever’—mixed with a bit of the third.
Perhaps my quick acceptance and dismissal of Kanye’s Sandy look is a peculiarity of my generation, or maybe it’s a hangover from a liberal arts education (thumbs up for the Caravaggio hoodie, K!) heavy in the reading of Judith Butler. Whatever the reason, I can’t acknowledge Kanye as a trendsetter. Although he certainly has us talking, he didn’t start the dialogue—that wouldn’t be like him. Kanye’s an interjector, an exclamation point, and, following Roger Daltrey’s bare chested number, a much welcomed dose of Givenchy.
Final question: Was it a [w]rap skirt Kanye wore??
Ho ho ho…you know I can’t resist a pun.