The other day, I had the opportunity of interviewing fashion icon, Iris Apfel at the Miami Dade College International Film Festival on behalf of Disfunkshion Magazine.
In case you don’t know who Iris is, she’s pretty stinkin’ fabulous. (Don’t worry, I hadn’t heard of her before, either). Iris has been around for nine decades. Yes, NINE. She’s made her fame by the collection of designer costume jewelry she owns and rocks, even at her age. She is not only a fashion icon, but also an interior designer, decorating the interior of the White House; and at one time, an avid traveler, making her way across the globe to collect rare, handmade jewelry. Yup. It’s pretty safe to say that Iris is a pretty cool lady.
Iris recently came out with a documentary, titled, IRIS (watch the trailer here), where she gets honest about life. At 93, you better believe Iris is a cauldron swarming with wise life-advice.
Being around for so many decades, Iris has definitely seen society evolve. In her documentary, she states that she was one of the first women to wear jeans. Back in her youth, women weren’t allowed to wear the treasured denims. After six weeks of boldly asking for them (and not taking ‘no’ for an answer) from a local men’s jean store owner, Iris was finally given a pair of boy’s jeans. She rocked them hard. And thanks to her, so can we (can I get an AMEN?).
I was curious to ask the icon what it's been like watching society evolve through fashion. Her response was one that's really had me thinking.
Me: “Iris, how have you seen style evolve in today’s culture?”
Iris: “Seen it evolve? I’ve seen it crash. There was no freedom and now there’s too much freedom. People don’t know what to do with it.”
Now, Iris Apfel might not be a Bible believing, follower of Jesus, but she does have a strong point, doesn’t she?
So strong it’s had me pondering something for weeks: have we as a society taken freedom too far?
I recently read a horrifying article of a medical student who had always been pro-choice…until the day he witnessed an infant being pulled apart limb by limb from an abortion. The student described in detail what he witnessed—the tiny fingers with fingernails that had been formed on the tips being sucked violently... along with it's tissue, blood, and fully functioning organs. He witnessed the tiny neck being snapped at the end of the suction tube. His vivid detail of the trauma he experienced afterwards has led me to think: where is the line drawn when it comes to personal “freedom”?
I’ll admit, I’m a fan of "Pretty Little Liars" (judge me not). But sometimes, while sitting glued to the screen, it hits me...who’s actually watching this show across the globe? It’s quite frightening to think that “entertainment” for most pre-teens on family television includes murder, stalking, parents sexually involved with teenage kids, and students having affairs with teachers. As entertaining as PLL is, is it too much for a young girl’s precious soul to handle? Is it just me, or is innocence all gone these days?
Where did we lose the beauty in purity? When did sleepovers, nail polish and “Mall Madness” while in middle school become uncool? Do kids crushing on each other even exchange paper notes in class anymore, or is it solely selfies and sexting?
Society is changing, friends. And it's not looking so great.
So instead of standing on the sidelines, let’s do something about it, will we?
Let’s celebrate classics like “I Love Lucy”—where adultery on TV was unheard of, and “entertainment” was ditzy jokes, silly faces, and falling off stage.
Let’s get a hold of the youngin’s in our lives and remind them that growing up isn’t always all that it’s cracked up to be. Let’s encourage them to rejoice in their youth as long as they can.
Let’s intentionally protect our sensitive souls from that which brings us down, encourages wickedness and fills our minds with meaningless garbage. Let's laugh at genuine silliness, celebrate true love, and honor honest goodness.
“And now, dear brothers and sisters, one final thing. Fix your thoughts on what is true, and honorable, and right, and pure, and lovely, and admirable. Think about things that are excellent and worthy of praise.” Philippians 4:8