Blake Lively has been accused, in effect, of racism and glamorizing slavery as a result of the new “southern belle” inspired clothing line promoted on her lifestyle website.
As widely reported, the Gossip Girl star is expecting her first child with actor Ryan Reynolds.
Gawker was one of several media outlets that recently made the racial insensitivity allegation about the actress who has also appeared in such films as The Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants, The Town, and Green Lantern.
“You’d think that after 12 Years a Slave won all those Oscars, slaves are over. But you’d be thinking wrong, says actress and lifestyle guru Blake Lively, whose dogged pursuit of the joie de vivre associated with slavery is such that she chose to be married on a Southern plantation. According to a Lively-styled fashion spread on her lifestyle website Preserve, the hottest lifestyle for fall is the lifestyle of owning human beings without government interference…”
On the Preserve website, the “Allure of the Antebellum” photo spread contains this explanation of the fall fashion line:
“Georgia peaches, sweet tea, and the enticement of a smooth twang…we all love a bit of southern charm. These regional mainstays, along with an innate sense of social poise, evoke an unparalleled warmth and authenticity in style and tradition. The term ‘Southern Belle’ came to fruition during the Antebellum period (prior to the Civil War), acknowledging women with an inherent social distinction who set the standards for style and appearance. These women epitomized Southern hospitality with a cultivation of beauty and grace, but even more with a captivating and magnetic sensibility. While at times depicted as coy, these belles of the ball, in actuality could command attention with the ease of a hummingbird relishing a pastoral bloom…”
In September 2012, Lively and Reynolds married at Boone Hall Plantation in Mt. Pleasant, S.C., just outside of Charleston. Reynolds and Lively had been dating for about a year after meeting during the filming of Green Lantern.
Preserve centers on home, fashion, and family, and was partially inspired by the city of New Orleans, according to Lively. The RYOT website suggests that the Blake Lively criticism may be somewhat unwarranted.
“The thing is, there’s no problem with being inspired by a certain aesthetic of an era gone by. Even I’m a fan of the floppy hats and skirts Preserve‘s featuring. The real problem is that Lively didn’t see this one coming. I’m sure Blake Lively isn’t a racist. She just seems to find old Southern charm, well, charming. That said, her naive perspective that holds such sweet nostalgia for an era full of slavery and oppression is risky, especially when it’s marketed. By bringing this vision into the mainstream, Preserve is perpetuating an understanding of U.S. history that leaves people of color out…”
Do you think the Blake Lively racism allegations are fair or unfair?