Friday, 07 August 2020
Englishman in Dubrovnik Englishman in Dubrovnik

Femme fatales have been replaced by Instagram Barbies

By  Oct 13, 2018

This headline really caught my eye recently "There are not so many femme fatale women today because women-barbies prevail, and just mummy’s boys love barbies!" And how could it not catch my eye when I saw who wrote it. As usual he had hit the nail firmly on top of the head, Mr. Luko Paljetak, or if he was born an Englishman Sir Luko Paljetak. He continued in his indomitable style "Do not tell me that barbies are femme fatale! Not at all! Femme fatale women have disappeared because society is no longer producing situations in such women can stand out, so distinguished because it does not allow them either a way of life or fashion."

It’s a question of fitting into the mould. Women today are dressing like they wear uniforms, having make-up and hair like Kim Jong-un gave them a choice, behaving as if pre-programed and don’t start me with the sunglasses. It’s a mould that seems unbreakable. And a mould that is quite frankly extremely boring.

Now, don’t get me wrong, I am not speaking from a position of strength. I know as much about fashion as I do about nuclear physics. I am merely speaking as an onlooker, an observer, which is what most of us men are. And honestly the Barbies are getting dull.

I understand that it is always harder to swim against the current. Running with the rest of the pack is always less frightening. “True elegance for me is the manifestation of an independent mind,” once said a true dame, Isabella Rossellini. Walk into any bar in the city, any restaurant or in fact just sit on the Stradun or in Uvala Lapad and you’ll be witness to a parade of copy/paste females.

And Dubrovnik doesn’t hold the monopoly on equilateral women, yes it seems the days of creativity and individualism are long gone. Just look at Instagram, you can type in pretty much any search word you like and I guarantee you you’ll be met with a regurgitation of identical proportions.

Are these so called “influencers” the new Gods? Women follow them unquestionably and worship their every word, so yes maybe they are the new Messiahs. But as Sir Luko was also quick to point out woman shouldn’t shoulder all the blame for the mould that has been created. Men, or to be more precise mother’s boys, help to circulate the myth that the “mould ladies” look attractive.

I had to hold back a laugh when an elderly journalist once said to me “The Old City is absolutely enchanting but why are there so many prostitutes walking along the Stradun.” Of course they weren’t “ladies of the night” (at least not all of them) but you could forgive me for being confused. I wouldn’t have blamed me if he thought there was only one clothes shop in town.

But it’s the younger generations that are the most worrying. They, unfortunately, have picked up the baton from the older generations and continued the mould look. Where are the rebels? Where is the punk generations? We’ve had the sex, drugs and rock n’ roll of the hippies in the 1960’s. The glam rock and heavy metal of the 1970’s. The 80’s were really the last decade of mass culture when people didn’t use the internet to get together but rather festivals and it was a decade of crazy colours and large hair.

What will this decade be remembered for? I asked Google the same question and was depressed with the answers as they were all regarding the internet, smartphones, social media and emojis. Where is the fight? How did we all become so passive? The outlandish fashions of decades passed have been replaced by conformities. To stand out, to stamp your own style, your own look is frowned upon. Conventionality is the new keyword. If you can’t find a hashtag to describe your outfit or an emoji to brighten your description you are a black sheep.

F*** hashtags and f*** emojis. Mother’s boys should grow a pair and ladies should break the mould. As the legendary Helen Mirren, sorry Dame Helen Mirren, once said “At 70 years old, if I could give my younger self one piece of advice, it would be to use the words “f*** off” much more frequently.” Well said Dame Helen…maybe I should introduce her to Sir Luko. Now that would be an interesting dinner party!

The Voice of Dubrovnik


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