Saturday, 7 February 2015

A Personal Apology from Miss Vintage UK.

I wish to begin this public statement with a quote from a great lady:

“No one can make you feel inferior without your consent.”

Most of the regular readers of this blog, vintage-lovers and feminists alike, will have seen the article recently published online as part of the Daily Mail's Femail content.

While I shouldn’t have to feel so apologetic for something not of my direct doing, I would however like to express my sincerest apologies to anyone who was offended by this article, because it was due to my own naivety that it was published in the first place.

It was not remotely my intention for my interview to provoke such an outrage, and I consider it to be my responsibility to fully acknowledge the anger of my peers, friends and readers alike.
I appreciate that this statement will not come as a surprise, given the reaction the article has received in some circles. I have a right – and full intention – to defend my honour, integrity and title. And I have taken time to carefully write this response, to be sure of no ambiguity or further misrepresentation.

You may consider that it is all very well making a repudiation of the quotes made in the article after the fact; however, I wish to point out that this is not the case.
I am writing this because I feel obliged to be honest regarding the content of the article, the majority of which contains factual inaccuracies, which I specifically asked to be omitted prior to the publication of the article, knowing they were completely taken out of context, and some fabricated altogether!

As a result, I am now suffering the backlash of what was meant to be an article about buying clothes to increase confidence and nothing more.

Since its publication on the Femail section, I have contacted the editors and publishers to petition for its withdrawal from public view. Both of these appeals have been ignored without any acknowledgement of my request for  a full retraction.

While I do not expect anyone to pity the situation, I feel it is extremely important to give my own true representation of the proceedings.

I will state, here and now, that I am in no position to criticise anyone for the way that they dress, nor do I have any objection to anyone who dislikes the way that I dress.
I believe that everyone should be free to dress how they want to, despite what the article claims. I have NEVER condoned sexual violence; I do NOT in any way believe that if someone wears a short skirt they are 'asking for it'!

The main focus of the article was indeed 'dress like a lady'; however, certainly NOT to the extent that the Daily Mail sensationalised the headline, that I had 'slammed' Miley Cyrus for her style. When approached, I was asked a few questions about what I thought of recent articles in the press where popstars were criticised for wearing too little, and Miley Cyrus has been featured repeatedly in every publication going regarding her lack of clothing.

Referring to my 'hypocritical' reference to Dita Von Teese as a style icon: although she is a burlesque artiste, her everyday style is far more demure and yet she manages to look glamorous at the same time. This is what was meant by my reference; nothing more, nothing less.
Yet I was blasted by the press for my supposed unusual choice of style icon.
Some of my quotes I will admit have been misguided by some of my own failings, both to comprehend the intentions of the press, and my failure to recognise that this would provoke such outrage on social media.

I do not blame anyone for wanting to criticise the article. My interview was given in blind and good faith, an example of my naivety at its worst, and I regret the outcry and hurt it has caused.
It will also surprise most of the readers of the article to know that despite my choice of style in emulating a 1950s’ housewife, I strongly consider myself to be a vehement supporter of women in the boardroom and beyond and am very much a feminist.

Furthermore, the Daily Mail claims that I ‘recommend converting to her strict dress regime in order “to be treated like a lady”’. I did NOT, in any way, shape or form say this. As far as I am concerned, it is the individual who should make the decision on how to dress. I wear jeans like anyone else, why should I be fodder for their un-PC views?

The answer, of course, is that the press are never on your side.

I have learned this in the most brutally hard way and I urge anyone in the creative industries to refuse any opportunity to get 'five seconds of fame'. That five seconds leaves an imprint which is impossible to fully retract.

I wish to highlight also another erroneous section:–
‘Obsessed with homing the perfect look and collecting precious items, Holly hopes to purchase a Lilli Ann suit worth up to £3,000, which she describes as the “Ferrari of the vintage world”’. But Holly wasn't always so confident in her appearance, and says that before discovering retro styles she had struggled to accept her body growing up and blamed feeling awkward in “ill-fitting high street fashion”’.

– This was grossly misrepresented. To those in the know, the Lilli Ann suit would have cost as just much when it was new. I did NOT say that my aspiration was to own one; I simply admire the designs with my vintage-lover‘s passion. And I absolutely did not spend my entire university maintenance loan; it was one small little joke during the interview that caused a huge row.
As a matter of fact, I spent most of the first term at university campaigning against tuition fees – note how that was left out!

My personal love for vintage and how I feel in dressing as a lady of a bygone era does not mean I consider anyone who does not dress as I do inferior to me.

And I personally refuse to consent to feeling inferior, despite some of the unfair and ill-expressed things about me that have been said in recent days following the deliberately inflammatory Daily Mail article, using me as the target for their own twisted agenda.

I will let my recent mistake in trusting the British press serve as a stark warning to others to be careful whom they talk to; you never know what the recipient’s motive is.

To those who took my publicised ‘quotes’ as gospel, please be assured they were the spectrum opposite to what was printed.

But when isn’t that the case with the press? I never knew just how much until now.
For the record: any person, any woman, should be allowed to walk down the street and not be leered at or subjected to abuse of any kind, regardless of what she wears, even if naked.

Whatever confidence I gained from finding my passion in vintage has been considerably dented by what this publication has claimed about me, and for that reason, I shall never again be caught in the vortex of a web of lies, spun solely to gain attention, without a care for the real – and decent – truth.

 With all sincere regards to readers,

 Miss Vintage UK