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Volume 4, Number 4
April, 1999

Fiona Jane Speaks Out
It's not about fashion, it's about survival

By Fiona Jane

It was one of the worst hangovers I've ever had. To say that I struggled with every movement, winced with every changing ray of light and wished my head would implode as it was threatening to do was an understatement. Simon too was battling hard against his own similar affliction and it felt like it was us against the world. That was, until I asked whether my headband clashed with my sunglasses.

His reply? "Today's not about fashion; it's about survival".

Sure, it was a tad superficial of me to worry about accessories when we were contending with massive self-inflicted pain, but surely it wasn't that bad. I read of Mariah Carey being quoted as saying something like "Whenever I watch TV and see those poor starving kids all over the world, I can't help but cry. I mean I'd love to be skinny like that but not with all those flies and death and stuff". That's when it's survival, and not fashion that matters.

I guess some people can see the good in anything. Even being close to death, if it meant that you could fit into a size 4 little black Versace dress without body stockings and a great deal of masking tape. Perhaps some people should just stick to singing instead of trying to make meaningful statements about life.

Everyone says something stupid sometimes, but I guess the problem is that if you're a celebrity and you say it in public, you have very little chance of living it down. People who make their livings out of their looks are often unlikely to have had the full benefit of continued education and therefore tend to make the most quotable blunders of all.

Example: Elle McPherson was interviewed for an Australian magazine, and for the greater part of the article she came across as quite intelligent. However, she totally undid this image when asked what she liked to read. "I never read anything I haven't written myself".

What would that be? Her shopping list perhaps, or possibly a note to her manager. No doubt riveting stuff, and comparable to any classic piece of literature this columnist could name. She must have a wonderful time when she visits her parents and gets to read many of her primary school literary achievements such as "When we bought Spot" or "Why I hate peas".

I guess it would have been more surprising if she had come out with something brilliant to say. Not to say that the profession doesn't contribute anything worthwhile to society, but the display of a little mental depth would be appreciated. A juxtaposition if you like. Anna Kournikova illustrating that she understands the current political climate of Russia and America, not just how many male fans come to watch her because she's easy on the eye. Germaine Greer admitting that she finds it really difficult to get a good hairdresser.

Robert Begnini recently won a Best Actor award for his portrayal of an Italian-Jew sent to a concentration camp with his family in the movie, Life is Beautiful. The amazing thing was that his role was a comic one. Perhaps some people not familiar with German war camps would say "Well, it looked a bit tough sometimes, but really, they had a lot of fun in Auschwitz".

I guess you can sell anything to the general public if you put the right spin on it. Joining the Australian Navy must be great. Getting paid good money straight out of school to work with sophisticated machinery and hang out with a boat full of your mates; what more could any seventeen year old ask for?

Oh yeah, that's right. The possibility of being sent into fight a war that doesn't even directly involve your country, the likelihood of being treated like crap by superior officers and periods of intense loneliness after spending weeks at sea without seeing or hearing from family and friends. Maybe the Army Reserve have a more realistic view of things (and I kid you not).... "Bring a spare pare of undies".

Don't they know?? "It's not about fashion, it's about survival."

love, Fiona
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