Sunday, December 03, 2006

Padma Lakshmi: Dress Ipsa Loquitur

Amuse-Biatch, we assure you, does not merely inhabit a solipsistic echo chamber on the Snarkshire Moors. Nay, we welcome reader feedback, and do our best to address reader concerns.

Today we turn to a note from a Gentle Reader, Mr. or Ms. Anon47, who writes: "What did you just say??? Ms Lakshmi is not only a world-class beauty but also one of the most stylish women around. We wonder what you wear, dears. And what you look like. Whatever it is, it makes you blind as well as unkind."

Dear Mr./Ms. Anon47,

We have never denied, nor could we deny, that Mrs. Salman Rushdie is a beautiful woman. And we have heard it said, even in the most mocking or denigrating profiles of her, that she can, indeed, be stylish.

However, we can only decide based on the evidence before us. Mind you, we're not fashion Calvinists, wedded to the idea of haute-couture predetermination; we don't believe that "once fugly, always fugly." No, we are fashion Catholics, full of belief in the notion of redemption. And while Mrs. Rushdie has on many occasions sinned in fuglitude against her own pulchritude (see? we can rhyme, too), we believe that she is capable of doing better.

We love the sinner, truly we do. It is only the sin we hate. That is why we are all the more grieved that she, as a beautiful woman, should wear such ugly and unflattering clothes (if you really want to get us going, serve us a Shirley Temple sometime and ask us about Heidi Klum's outfits during the last season of Project Runway, especially that eyelet majorette number).

You say, dear Mr./Ms. Anon47, that we are blind, and we say this: Oy, if only we were blind; then we wouldn't have to see some of these outfits. But don't take our word for it. Below, you will find evidence of what we say; judge for yourself. And we hope that you will concede that we have not hated everything she has worn. Take it as proof of our good faith.

As for what we wear and what we look like, that's really neither here nor there. Rather than state the obvious, we shall limit ourselves to a decorous quotation of Ms. Pauline Kael, who once wrote in response to a similar letter, You don't have to be able to lay an egg to know if an omelette tastes good.

Thank you again for writing. We hope you will continue reading. And do tell your friends about us.

Very truly yours,


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