Sabyasachi Mukherjee Issues Clarification On Being Bashed Over ‘Overdressed Women, Caked With Makeup, Are Wounded’ Post

Everything that went down in the Sabyasachi Mukherjee controversy.

One of the leaders of the Indian fashion industry, Sabyasachi Mukherjee, recently drew fire for making a generalized statement about overdressed women being ‘internally wounded’.

His Instagram post, which was originally meant to promote his upcoming jewellery collection, attracted the wrath of netizens when he likened the state of a woman being overdressed to internal anguish.

His umbrella statement did not sit well with the internet as several people criticized his stance on the subject. Some believed that he was being patriarchal by speaking for women while others deemed it an awful PR move.

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Here are a few of the many reactions to his post:

Source: Instagram
Source: Instagram
Source: Instagram
Source: Instagram

Right when the circumstances began to spin out of control, Sabyasachi issued a clarification both on his Instagram story and feed.

View this post on Instagram

I thought a lot about whether to post this, but sometimes it is important to set the record straight and get the right message across. Having been in the fashion industry for over 20 years, I have encountered it firsthand and commented about it in many of my interviews – how, while many women use fashion and beauty for joy and self-expression, others use it as ‘retail therapy’ to fill in the gaps and voids in their lives. We, as a society, often get extremely judgemental about peoples’ clothing choices, calling them ‘overdressed’ or ‘tacky’ or ‘inappropriate’. We fail to understand that maybe some are using these as coping mechanisms to put on a brave front to make up for the lack of a support system. The true essence of the post was to ask people to be aware, empathetic, and not judgemental of peoples’ personal clothing choices, which could be a manifestation of their internal anguish. One of the bigger issues in society today, that very few people address, is mental health, and a little bit of awareness, empathy and kindness go a long way in acknowledging it. I have coped with crippling depression as a teenager for 7 years. I found my coping mechanism through radical clothing choices.I was sneered at and bullied, but it helped me find my way again. When I was creating this jewellery collection, I referred to Tagore’s ‘Monihara’ because it talks about these issues, which are sadly more relevant today. And I, for one, have never shied away from speaking about uncomfortable truths, no matter how disruptive it might be for my personal gain. Because when power is given, social responsibility should not be shunned. The mistake, however, was to use the reference as a blanket statement, as sometimes when we are passionate about an issue, we end up becoming overzealous and hence, tone deaf. My sincere apologies for that. The original post (however flawed) was put up to invite introspection and debate about how love, sensitivity and compassion, alongside expressions of art, beauty and fashion can create a net positive in the world. I invite everyone to democratically join this debate. Regards, Sabyasachi

A post shared by Sabyasachi Mukherjee (@sabyasachiofficial) on

Source: Instagram

In his two-part clarification, Sabyasachi broke down his original post and expounded his previous agrument in detail.

While he offered a seemingly unfeigned apology for making a blanket statement about women, he maintained that his post was aimed at those women who use fashion as a coping mechanism rather than a tool for artistic expression.

The celebrated designer strengthened his reasoning while recounting his own experience with fashion as a mode of escapism through radical clothing choices.

His apology, too, was met with a mixed bag of reactions.

Some claimed that it was simply an attempt to reduce damage while others lauded his insight into the matter and welcomed his apology.

As someone who resorts to fashion as a means of distraction from reality, I can wholly testify to the soundness of Sabyasachi Mukherjee’s argument.

‘Retail therapy’ is a reality for many who seek mental refuge in materialism as it supplies them with momentary bursts of adrenaline and produces in them a sense of being.

Coping mechanisms differ from person to person and the need to tackle each of the underlying mental issues is important nonetheless.

As a woman, I do not believe that Sabyasachi Mukherjee was being misogynistic or speaking for women. Time and again, he has spoken with nothing but high regard for the female influences in his life who shaped him into what he is.

Sabyasachi Mukherjee may have worded his argument poorly, which he profusely apologized for, but he opened up the gates to a much-needed conversation pertaining to the nuances of mental health issues and their various ways of manifestation.

After all, to err is human.

Image Credits: Google Images, Instagram

Source: Sabyasachi Mukherjee, News 18, India Today

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