It was the gunshot heard around the fashion world when Stefano Gabbana made comments regarding natural reproduction and family structure in an interview with Panorama, an Italian magazine.
Gabbana was quoted:
“You are born to a mother and a father. Or at least that’s how it should be”
“The only family is the traditional one. No chemical offsprings and rented uterus: life has a natural flow, there are things that should not be changed.”
“I call children of chemistry ‘synthetic children’. Rented wombs, semen chosen from a catalogue… psychiatrists are not ready to confront the effects of this experimentation.”
To many this feels like an act of discrimination especially to those who feel having a child and becoming a parent completes their lives. Not to mention the etiquette of the word natural. And what family structures have evolved to in modern day rather than what is found in nature. While there are always opposing ideas within any community, it’s more apparent when a powerful figure makes such strong comments. Dolce & Gabbana’s most recent collection celebrated motherhood; having models walk with their offspring and show off their pregnant bellies.
The largest outcry came from Elton John who felt insulted being a father to two sons via surrogate. He called on the public to boycott Dolce & Gabbana with the hastag #boycottDolceGabbana. Many celebrities have followed in his footsteps giving comments on the matter. Including Ryan Murphy who shamed Gabbana for being a hypocrite. Sharing the same sentiment is Kelly Cutrone, a fashion publicist, who called the recent D&G ad a “gang bang” tweeting:
— Kelly Cutrone (@kellycutrone) March 15, 2015
On Wednesday, CNN got an exclusive with the duo. Gabbana defended himself by stating this was his “personal point of view” and he supports everyone’s point of view; that being gay couples, gay marriage, adoption, IVF, etc. Further stating that this point of view stems from his culture. He is from a traditional Sicilian home composed of a mother, father, and children.
However, using the excuse of Italian culture further angered and saddened Giuliano Federico, the Editorial Director of Swide, Dolce and Gabana’s magazine. He announced his resignation via Facebook. He concluded the letter saying:
It is time that each of us makes little actions to claim their own beliefs. I’m proud of being Italian, proud of our past and traditions, but I believe that Italy can look at a more modern and equal future for our citizens and children. All children.
The comments on Italian culture are extremely powerful coming from Gabbana and Federico; almost political.
Gay marriage is illegal in Italy, a Catholic country. As is same-sex adoption. “Minister of Health Beatrice Lorenzin, that gay couples are “unfit to raise children.” Ironically, the minister claimed that this view is backed by the international psychological community; she does not seem to realize that the real science has been used in U.S. courts to support marriage equality.
The Catholic Church presses a major role in religion and legislation in Italy. But even Pope Francis has been celebrated as a modern day pope. He has spoken against frivolous spending from the church, the state of the global economy, and violence of the Syrian war.But most importantly his support of evolution, views on “responsible parenthood,” and non judgment of the gay community from the Catholic church.
While many of us don’t support the views of Dolce & Gabbana; we should support that they have a right to share their opinions. But we question how a powerful figure in the fashion industry still holds to these archaic ideas of the family structure while the Catholic church is evolving and reinforcing the sense of community globally.