Whenever I told my co-workers I happened to be likely to a meeting called "Fashion Fights Poverty" (co-sponsored because of the us Association associated with the National Capital region), the response ended up being a combination of entertainment and interest regarding the one hand, and distaste and ridicule on the other side. Those of us who work with development are more likely to respond the same manner whenever we come across superstars posing with bad African kids.
How come the growing trendiness of poverty make the development community squirm?
The big event to advertise socially-conscious developers occured at an upscale clothing shop in an up-and-coming section of DC. The space had been crowded with costly clothes and photographers. Music played since people that are beautiful cosmos and passed away copies associated with the Millennium developing Goals Report (pdf). A woman that is young stilettos strutted as though on a catwalk close to a display of beads created by ladies in rural Uganda. It's not hard to mock the incongruity from it all. The theory that haute couture often helps a household struggling to endure in Bangladesh could be the material of Stephen Colbert and Night Live saturday. It is also a change that is intoxicating of for all of us used to working behind a pc all the time (let's face it: a fashion show is cooler than operating regressions).
But all that pretension and exclusivity can illicit disgust too, and we also might find ourselves deriving a strange satisfaction from the presumption that their commitment towards the bad is superficial at most useful, and therefore the moment one thing else cool comes along they are going to leap from the poverty train faster than the usual bandit in a John Wayne film.
My colleague Todd Moss captured this unease well in their controversial satirical posting: So many ways that are fabulous Save Africa.