OK, I know I’m not about to win any love from fashionistas with this post, but hear me out: NYC mayoral hopeful Rep. Anthony Weiner wants to make it easier for foreign models to get work visas in the US. Lagerfeld lackeys and V Magazine readers rejoice, right? Right? *crickets* Well, forgive me for not raising my glass of Chateauneuf-du-pape with all of you fabulous souls. Because I can’t fucking afford fine Grenache blends right now. Because someone’s letting the air out of the dollar, and it’s hurting here everyone save Anna goddamn Wintour. The fact of the matter is that the fashion industry does not exist in a vaccuum (though they’d like to think that they do, and often act as such), the industry is part of the media, advertising, TV and entertainment industries, and it adds significantly to the bottom line of the larger American economy. Now, Weiner is no fool, it’s not like he’s drafting this bill just to bring fresh meat Stateside. Most of his concerns are for the NYC economy, of which the fashion industry is a big part. Makes sense, when you first think about it, but once you start to examine this issue a little deeper, this proposed welcome carpet laid out before a bevy of foreign beauties starts to get ugly in a hurry.

First of all, America’s immigration policies have been under some pretty intense scrutiny since, well, forever. Especially lately, since Bush came into office and gave the crazy-righties a platform to spout their garbage. I mean, there is a shamefully large portion of the US population that wants to build a WALL between America and Mexico. Gotta keep them lowly, filthy brown people, the job-stealing ‘other’, out of our country. But ask the same folks how they feel about the US importing boatloads of Victoria’s Secret Angels from Brazil, and I’m sure the tune will be quite different. Look, the US’s immigration policy is by no means perfect, and in fact, it’s pretty well on-par with some of the countries to which I’ve thought about defecting. Full disclosure: I have a friend who teaches English in Hong Kong. She loves her job, and is always trying to talk me into going over there. Upon looking into moving to HK, Japan, France, and Italy- the song is all the same, and the language surrounding the procurement of a work visa in a foreign country is majorly intimidating. They basically tell you that in order to obtain legal permission to work in their country, you have to bring skills to the table that nobody else in thier native population can. WHOA! I mean, far be it from me to ever assume that I have anything to offer my own country, let alone anyone else’s. So there’s the rub: These import models are really not offering anything you can’t find right here on American soil. If you’re wont to disagree, lemme just point out:

Josie maran
Josie Maran
Cindy Crawford
Tyra Banks
Tyra Banks
Nikki Taylor
Chanel Iman
Carolyn Murphy
Chanel ‘It’ girl Devon Aoki
Ali Michael
Molly Sims


… I rest my case.

Yet, the biggest insult to the potential injuring of the homegrown American model comes from Corrinne Nicolas, president of Trump Model Managment. She tells the New York Daily News, “If there are girls that we can’t get into the United States, the client is going to take that business elsewhere. The market is calling for foreign girls.” Findings from the Daily News support this, citing “Other fashion bigwigs argued Weiner is right – designers and photographers won’t just hire American. They’ll more likely take job-producing shoots to another country.” Well, that’s just fucking peachy, innit? I understand that fashion is an international industry, and that there’s always been economical cross-pollentation going on there. However, nobody’s twisting Ford Models’ arms off to take on all those starving Eastern European girls and leave the lanky Texans out in the cold. Nobody’s forcing Vogue to shoot editorials in the Sahara rather than Santa Fe. You know, this whole thing reminds me of all the hands-off, not-gonna-fix-it, it’s-not-our-problem attitude the fashion industry copped towards all the dying anorexic models under it’s employ. Accountability is the name of the game, motherfuckers. It’s about time the fashion industry gave a damn about doing what’s right, rather than whateverthefuck their flighty, fickle, black little hearts desire. They could take on more American models, but they just… won’t. They could do cheaper photoshoots Stateside, keeping the American leg of the fashion world afloat by giving jobs to Americans who need them, but, you know, they won’t. They could stop presenting emaciated, Eastern Bloc white pre-teens as a beauty ideal, but. they. WON’T. Because they don’t want to. For no better reason than that. It’s sickening. A NYDN commenter sums it up quite well:

Bthecheeze says, “I have a great idea. Let’s see how many possible ways there are to give away American jobs, whether by sending them overseas, or by bringing swarms of people here to take what’s left. Are you kidding me? Maybe we can allow ourselves to be insulted once by the comment regarding manual labor jobs, that ” they are only doing the jobs that Americans are unwilling to do themselves”. Now we are being insulted again. Look around you. There are more beautiful women already here that could fill up every page of your stupid fashion magazines. . And where are all the black models. You can’t tell me that Naomi Campbell is the only one that ever wanted to be one. Start using more of our own home grown beauties. All races. All sizes. Gas and food prices are through the roof. Unemployment is growing worse. If you want to waste our time with such stupid ideas, then maybe you (Weiner) should not be representing us.”

I get that Weiner wants to keep the economy chugging along, but bending to the whims of conscience-devoid agencies and editrices is not the way to accomplish that. The US fashion industry should be held accountable for their part of the bleeding of the American economy, not given a pass to keep doing it.

Now, I’m no fashion expert, I’m no econ whiz, but I know a crock of shit when I smell one. It doesn’t take a genious to figure out that outsourcing jobs is a problem- hell, the two hours I waste on the phone each day at work with clueless Delhi call centers tells me all I need to know. But, if anyone out there knows better about how this issue plays out on the US economy or the world stage, feel free to dissent in the comments.