Rhonda Garelick, an English professor at the University of Nebraska, has a comment on John Galliano’s outburst in a Paris bar (“High Fascism“; NYtimes, 3-7-2011). Garelick can’t resist finding Galliano’s behavior symptomatic of fascist/Aryan tendencies deeply rooted in French culture—despite the fact that Galliano was fired and now faces persecution for uttering a racial insult. (Of course, one might argue that these recent events simply indicate the triumph of the culture of critique in post-WWII Europe.) The French are evil because during the German occupation, French women continued to dress fashionably:
“Every woman in Paris is a living propaganda poster, the universal function of the Frenchwoman is to remain chic,” wrote one fashion journalist in the early 1940s. “Frenchwomen are the repositories of chic, because this inheritance is inscribed in their race,” wrote another.
That’s not the worst of it:
And as Vichy continued to toe the Nazi line about Aryan physical fitness, more French fashion magazines began focusing on exercise and diet for women.
Ah, the horrors of National Socialism, encouraging women to eat well and be physically fit. Read more