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8 Reasons Why We Should Not Idolise Coco Chanel Despite Her Classic Personality

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The famously outspoken Gabrielle or Coco Chanel went by her own rules. Tweed jackets, the little black dress, menswear as womenswear: she is responsible for many of the innovations that are still a major part women’s fashion. The designer functioned by her own intuition be it her gold-chained handbags, signature scent, and witty remarks. Her rags to riches story is also an inspiration.

Despite all this, here are 8 reasons why we should NOT idolise Coco Chanel despite her classic designs.

  1. Chanel was not a fan of makeup-less faces. When she was arriving, models reportedly used to rush to put their makeup on. The designer herself kept a lot of make up including pink blush at her bedside to get ‘inspired’. Her logic? Which man wants to wake up to a dull face? She said, “Think of the man who sleeps beside you, does he want to wake up to a pale face?”
  2. Chanel often made distasteful comments. She was quoted in WWD’s obituary saying actress Brigitte Bardot’s full bust “is too much.”
  3. Coco Chanel also had a critical view of fashion editors. She once stated that one unnamed editor had “the face of a monkey” and “the mouth of a sewer,” while another was “the most pretentious woman I have ever met.”
  4. She found miniskirts indecent and called them “an exhibition of meat”. According to her, pants were a practical option for women. “Girls are nice and it is good to roll around in the sand all day long”.
  5. Chanel designed clothing based on her own slim body type. The other side to this was that curvy women didn’t look as nice in her clothing. This made slim figure an aesthetic.
  6. Coco Chanel was big, and still remains a very sought after class brand in luxury good. Women in the sixties and seventies were so eager to fit in her designs, that they would get on a diet just to get into a Chanel. She is therefore criticised for pushing women to start dieting.
  7. She had a superficial and materialistic criteria for beauty. Once she said, “Costume jewellery is not made to give women an aura of wealth, but to make them beautiful.”
  8. Chanel is considered an anti-Semite by the people of her inner circle. During World War II, historians say she leveraged her Nazi connections and tried to use Aryan laws to push Pierre Wertheimer and his brother—who were Jewish—out of her business.
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