Actress, model, and lifestyle guru Blake Lively is now in trouble for a tribute to the Antebellum South fashion shoot on her website. Lively is being criticized for what some say is a glamorization of America’s darkest days: slavery. But who needs to worry about the fact that human beings were owned by other human beings and considered chattel during this time period? Lively focuses on the “important” things instead, the beauty and glamor of the ‘Southern Belle.’
The post on Lively’s Preserve lifestyle website is titled ‘Allure of Antebellum’, and pairs a fashion shoot with some particularly flowery prose about Lively’s Southern inspirations.
“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,” the post says.
“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.”
Like the debutantes of yesteryear, the authenticity and allure still ring true today. Hoop skirts are replaced by flared and pleated A-lines; oversized straw toppers are transformed into wide-brimmed floppy hats and wool fedoras.
The prowess of artful layering -the southern way- lies in inadvertent combinations. From menswear-inspired overcoats to the fluidity of soft flowing separates, wrap yourself up in tactile layers that elicit a true sense of seasonal lure.
Embrace the season and the magic below the Mason-Dixon with styles as theatric as a Dixie drawl.
Of course some have accused Lively and the post of not only being tone-deaf, but ignorant about how you know slavery was happening during the time of these “Southern Belles.”
Lively got married on a Southern plantation, so clearly this tone deafness is a trend for her.
Why make any mention of the ugly and harshness of this time period? It’s not like she could add slave’s rags to the clothing collection, right? Right. So, just ignore that whole pesky owning human things and focus on the white women who got to sip Mint Juleps on the veranda. Privilege is a helluva drug.
Diana Veiga is a Spelman woman, a DC resident, and a freelance writer. Of course, she’s also on Twitter.
Click through our gallery to check out the shoot.