I was recently called to have my picture taken for a magazine article on fashion bloggers in Lima. I was quite surprised I was actually chosen because I don't consider my blog to be solely about fashion, but as I was beginning to think about this entry, I realized most of my posts are inevitably fashion-related.
When I was about 11, I began a long-term love affair with Benetton. I think I still remember my first item from this brand, it was a green polo shirt, with UNITED COLORS OF BENETTON written in tiny fuchsia letters in the front. I had fallen in love with it at the store for some reason and had not been bothered by the fact that it was a size or two big. Suddenly, 90% of my wardrobe came from this brand and then most of my personal belongings: my wallet, my agenda, my cologne, my walkman-case, keychain, etc. It had become an unexplainable obsession. I mean, some people from high school remember my colorful Benetton backpack more than they remember me (of course, I did weigh about a ton back then too).
I also fell in love with their ad campaigns. LOVED THEM. I loved their thought-provoking, shocking, controversial images addressing social issues such as racism, AIDS, discrimination in general, and above all -at that period in my life- enviromental issues. I became a fan of Oliviero Toscani, the creative mind and photographer behind the ads, then wrote Luciano Benetton expressing my admiration and was happily surprised when I received a package containing poster-sized images of the campaigns from 1989 to 1995. I actually got to meet Luciano Benetton later on when he came to Lima to open a store.
It was at 12 that I became a vegetarian and that I got involved in school activities that promoted recycling and other eco-conscious activities. That is probably why one of the images that struck me the most back then, was that of the bird covered in thick, black oil, it's eyes red with irritation, swimming in the middle of a huge oil spill, and looking like something out of this world.
Thinking it was a species from another planet would have probably been the more comforting way of looking at it than knowing it belonged to our own planet Earth, and that the reason why this poor animal was condemned to such a horrific situation that would lead to it's premature death, was caused by our own kind. Or maybe it was a new species. Were we being witness to the birth of a new type of bird that would soon be populating our planet? I know this sounds a bit dramatic, but after seeing the following pictures from the affected wildlife in the Gulf of Mexico due to the UNBELIEVABLE irresponsibility of BRITISH PETROLEUM, one can only wonder if we will ever learn. Things haven't changed much.
(Pictures via Towleroad)