You’re not a fashionista or a foodie

Anna Wintour

The English language is fantastic, isn’t it? It’s a living, growing language with terms that die out (23 skidoo) and new ones get added all the time (tween). And since my job as a writer is to effectively use language, it behooves me (behooves is still in use!) to know how to apply some new terms. But some are so devoid of meaning, that they’re not worth figuring out. To wit: the most self-absorbed words in the universe: fashionista and foodie.

These are words used by people who are so filled with their own insecurity that they had to make something up so they’d seem worthwhile. Which makes them both ugly and distasteful. Precisely the opposite of what they’re going for. Look, I like the sound of my own voice too sometimes (hello. I have a blog.) But as far as I can tell, these are two made-up terms that have absolutely no meaning because there’s no degree of expertise involved in distinguishing a fashionista or foodie from any idiot on the street with an updated dictionary.

What is the requirement for being a fashionista? Unless you’re Anna Wintour or you’re designing clothes 350 days out of the year, or paid to style models for photo shoots, you are probably not a fashionista. Liking clothes doesn’t mean you’re a fashionista, it just means you’re overly concerned with other people’s perception of you. But if fashionista is an offensive term, foodie is by far, far worse.

If you think that because you like to eat, and you frequent a couple of restaurants, and you watch Top Chef, you’re a foodie, you’re mistaken. To be a foodie, you had better know all the chefs there are to know, what kind of food they specialize in, where their restaurants are, and you better be able to bang out at least 2 incredible meals with the can of tuna, box of mac and cheese and left-over birthday cake from my daughter’s party that’s in my kitchen. (If you can, call me.) If you just like food, and you like the idea of having some kind of title, there is one that applies to you. Hungry.

So unless you work in the fashion industry and can tell me what Tim Gunn’s middle name is, don’t go making up words for yourself. Real fashionistas have actual titles like: stylist, and designer, and magazine editor. And unless you can tell me 6 ways to use jicama, you can’t call yourself a foodie. Real foodies have a title too, they’re called: chef.

Please stop making up titles, people.

It makes the people who care about words have to define you.

And it’s annoying.

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