Et tu, Tim Gunn?!

I am a HUGE Project Runway fan. Like, unnaturally obsessed with the show. And my love for the show can only be matched by my love for Tim Gunn…that is, until he broke my heart on this recent Conan appearance. (Go to about 5:50 minutes in)
Gunn, talking about political leaders’ fashion sense, says that Sen. Hillary Clinton “is confused about what her gender is.” And then I cry.
Thanks to Eliza for the link.

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47 Comments

  1. Posted February 20, 2008 at 11:07 am | Permalink

    Tim Gunn gave a talk at UVa last night, and he said this exact same thing. Needless to say, I had to keep myself from jumping up and screaming. I guess Tim doesn’t know that as a female politician, if she dressed more “womanly”, people would ridicule her softness/inability to lead/fashion obsessions/etc

  2. Posted February 20, 2008 at 11:24 am | Permalink

    Troy McClure: And our final judge, Mr. Boswell, the man behind those infamous “Worst Dressed” lists! Any previews of this year’s list, Bos?
    Mr. Boswell: Memo to Goldie Hawn: cheerleader tryouts were thirty years ago. Let’s grow up, shall we?
    Bart: [chuckling] He’s such a bitch!

  3. Jovan1984
    Posted February 20, 2008 at 11:26 am | Permalink

    I don’t like Project Runway. But…I totally hate the sexist remarks about Sen. Clinton coming from Mr. Gunn, Mr. Matthews and others.

  4. DallasSuz
    Posted February 20, 2008 at 11:31 am | Permalink

    WTF. What a sexist pig. First of all I think the substitution of gender for sex sucks.
    Basically he is using gender as a master slave sort of construct where he (a man) gets to define HRC (a woman) as a non woman because she does not conform to his ideas of how a lady (another oppressive social construct) should dress.
    It is early voting time in Texas and yesterday at work I had a customer dressed Texas fancy fou with gold and diamonds tell me I should vote Republican. I said I’d rather shoot myself and that I was supporting Hillary.
    To me this just drives home the truth of Robin Morgan’s words “Good-Bye to all That II”.
    The whole campaign against Hillary, every single word of it including the “a”, “and” and “the” articles used in those attacks are based in right wing dickwad misogynistic sexist pigism.

  5. Posted February 20, 2008 at 11:38 am | Permalink

    He said the same thing in an interview with Newsweek.
    “I mean, are we ready for a male cross-dresser in the White House? No. But frankly speaking, there are times when I wonder about Hillary.”
    It really is a shame, since I like Tim Gunn too, but there’s no excuse for it.

  6. Wildberry
    Posted February 20, 2008 at 11:42 am | Permalink

    Dallas, “and” is a conjunction. A, An, and The are articles.

  7. amanda
    Posted February 20, 2008 at 12:11 pm | Permalink

    This is especially troubling, given the industry that Tim works in. How do you think he feels about many of the contestants on PR?

  8. Amber schn0562
    Posted February 20, 2008 at 12:13 pm | Permalink

    That is just so pathetic. It cuts deeper when you hear people cheering for what he’s saying. Then they cut to Larry the Cable Guy laughing, and I want to punch my monitor right in.

  9. caiis
    Posted February 20, 2008 at 12:16 pm | Permalink

    Gunn in the Newsweek article:
    “I think Hillary should be taking a lesson from Nancy Pelosi, I really do…She has a femininity yet a professionalism, and she has style. She’s also not afraid to be a woman, and she celebrates it. She’s not ever remotely vulgar or provocative in what she wears, but I have to say, she’s a very sexy woman.”
    So Gunn thinks that in addition to being unfeminine, Hillary is “afraid to be a woman” just because he doesn’t find her as sexy as Nancy?
    What a creep.
    I tend to get this feel from some men in the fashion industry.

  10. T-Monster
    Posted February 20, 2008 at 12:23 pm | Permalink

    I find it interesting when people who are used to being stereotyped are so insensitive. I am so sick of how acceptable it is to hate on Hillary for being a strong, intelligent woman. It makes me want to scream.
    Wildberry- are you really getting on technical grammar when there is a real issue at hand? Besides which, it could very well have been a typo.

  11. tprincess
    Posted February 20, 2008 at 12:25 pm | Permalink

    Dear Tim,
    I love you, sweetie, but the Presidential race is not a competition for the models as well.
    (Hell, at this point, “Project Runway” isn’t even a competition for the models as well. Are they even going to be allowed to model at all next season? Sheesh!)

  12. Posted February 20, 2008 at 12:28 pm | Permalink

    Say it ain’t so, Tim. I am a big Project Runway fan, and I am profoundly disappointed.

  13. Laurelyn
    Posted February 20, 2008 at 12:43 pm | Permalink

    I honestly dont see it as sexist. She does dress like she has a mans body shape, when she has a womans because, duh, she is a woman. Its not that she should dress ‘girlier’ and wear ruffles and pink or whatever, but most of her clothes look like they are cut for a man in drag. I dont see why this is relevant at all to the election, but it could be relevant to someone whos life is dedicated to fashion. you *can* tell a lot about a person by the way they dress.

  14. AnytheGr8
    Posted February 20, 2008 at 12:51 pm | Permalink

    Just because she may not often wear pastels, skirts, lace, overboard accessories and ruffles doesn’t mean she is cofused about her gender. You know, wearing pant suits doesn’t automatically make your vagina disappear.
    You know, coming from Tim Gunn, a gay man, he should know and fully empathize with the detriments of gender profiling.

  15. chefmatt
    Posted February 20, 2008 at 1:08 pm | Permalink

    That’s not your mother! It’s a man baby!

  16. Wildberry
    Posted February 20, 2008 at 1:10 pm | Permalink

    Yes, Tara, obviously I was.

  17. rileystclair
    Posted February 20, 2008 at 1:14 pm | Permalink

    “I honestly dont see it as sexist.”
    Well until I see Tim Gunn ragging on Mike Huckabee’s cheap looking, ill-fitting suits, I’d say Hillary is bearing the brunt of a society that expects women to look good all the time and to know and care about their appearance. So yeah, that’s sexist.
    “She does dress like she has a mans body shape, when she has a womans because, duh, she is a woman. Its not that she should dress ‘girlier’ and wear ruffles and pink or whatever, but most of her clothes look like they are cut for a man in drag.”
    Maybe her clothes aren’t the best, but since when was she ever revered as some kind of fashion icon? Do you people seriously not remember the HEADBANDS of early 90s-Hillary? The problem isn’t even a fashion personality like Tim Gunn pointing out that she isn’t fashionable (provided of course, the critique is made of male and female candidates alike). I’m more bothered by the fact that he equates not dressing a certain way (arguably more fashionably, according to a limited definition of course) with not being a WOMAN.
    “I dont see why this is relevant at all to the election, but it could be relevant to someone whos life is dedicated to fashion.”
    Bingo. It’s not. Like I said, I have no problem with fashion writers talking about what the candidates wear, irrelevant as it may be. Believe me, I’d much rather hear discuss something they’re qualified to evaluate, like pantsuits, instead of say, First Amendment jurisprudence or telecom immunity. But you can’t ignore the fact that Hillary is subject to way more criticism of how she looks than any other candidate, by about a million miles. THAT is screwed up.
    “you *can* tell a lot about a person by the way they dress.”
    I’m a devoted fashionista myself and care a great deal about personal aesthetics, but I’m going to have to disagree with you there. I don’t think you can actually tell very much about a PERSON by their clothes. I think that’s a myth propogated by people who like to sell clothing and accessories. Further, it’s not as if we’re talking about a presidential candidate who dresses like a punk rocker or a prostitute or a homeless person. Hillary dresses within the appropriate range of attire for a professional woman of her age. Anything you want to read into her outfits beyond that is your presumptions, I’m afraid.

  18. Minervasp73
    Posted February 20, 2008 at 1:23 pm | Permalink

    What the hell else did you possibly expect from this guy, reality? He works with MODELS.

  19. Katxyz
    Posted February 20, 2008 at 1:26 pm | Permalink

    “I mean, are we ready for a male cross-dresser in the White House? No. But frankly speaking, there are times when I wonder about Hillary.”
    Maybe this will offend some people, or maybe people will agree with me, but I find these type of gender stereotypes and snide comments especially offensive coming from a man like Gunn. He works in the fashions industry, he is homosexual, and many of his mannerisms could be considered very effeminate. So can we say he is “confused” about his gender?
    He may be just referring to they way Clinton’s clothes do or do not flatter her body shape, but he damn well better clarify that point if he’s going to repeating it in multiple mediums.

  20. Misspelled
    Posted February 20, 2008 at 1:26 pm | Permalink

    For a second I was almost hopeful about Conan’s reaction, but… swing and a miss.
    This shit got old so long ago.

  21. MLEmac
    Posted February 20, 2008 at 1:51 pm | Permalink

    wow, I used to think that this race was actually about the issues. Now I understand it’s all about who is the best dressed. god, is this jr. high or what?

  22. AnytheGr8
    Posted February 20, 2008 at 2:21 pm | Permalink

    MLEmac – you are absolutely right…this whole primary so far has been like a jr. high student council election. And we all know how well those popularity contests worked at choosing the best candidate for the job… :)

  23. Juan Stoppable
    Posted February 20, 2008 at 2:41 pm | Permalink

    I think fashion is just a very gendered industry.
    If you ever watch his makeover show “Tim Gunn’s guide to style”, there’s a lot of cringe-worthy gender essentialism.

  24. DallasSuz
    Posted February 20, 2008 at 3:15 pm | Permalink

    “Dallas, “and” is a conjunction. A, An, and The are articles.Posted by: Wildberry”
    And typing in a little window has it’s limitations. I should have included as well as all the conjunctions and interjections used.

  25. chubbles
    Posted February 20, 2008 at 3:44 pm | Permalink

    I love project runway, but it’s really sad what Gunn is saying. (by the way I agree with Juan Stoppable about that “guide to style” show)

  26. Posted February 20, 2008 at 3:51 pm | Permalink

    Oh man, I know this is not toeing the line but I just think Tim Gunn is wrong, not because he’s being sexist, but because I think Hillary has never been more femme. I’ve admired her necklaces more than once this election cycle. And the brightly colored pant suits! Lovely! What’s really sexist is that no one is finally giving her props for being her best dressed in like ever.
    OK. Now get back to being serious.

  27. Posted February 20, 2008 at 4:03 pm | Permalink

    Geesh. I wish some of these people would just keep their mouths shut so that I could keep loving them unconditionally.
    Or maybe it is better to know.
    I’m so disappointed. About as disappointed as I was when they decided to give that one trick pony Rami another shot on PR last week. Enough with the draping!!

  28. Andrea
    Posted February 20, 2008 at 4:18 pm | Permalink

    Well, a lack of heterosexuality does not a lack of misogyny make.
    Also, Rami doesn’t drape in every fucking challenge. I am sick of people saying this. In the candy challenge and the denim challenge he produced BEAUTIFUL work that had shape, structure, and no draping. Jesus christ. When Rami is forced to use materials that you just can’t drape, he always produces something beautiful and shows his talent for fit AND silhouette.

  29. Posted February 20, 2008 at 4:21 pm | Permalink

    Well, love isn’t unconditional if you put the condition on them that they occasionally shut up.

  30. Destra
    Posted February 20, 2008 at 4:23 pm | Permalink

    Tim Gunn, you wound me so. ;__;

  31. Cedar
    Posted February 20, 2008 at 5:19 pm | Permalink

    I used to just adore Tim Gunn, but I was pretty turned off by his attitude in his show Guide to Style. He was pretty attached to gender stereotypes, and had such a dour attitude about fashion. It didn’t seem like he was enjoying himself, or enjoyed fashion in any sort of emotional sense; it seemed so life or death.

  32. Thomas
    Posted February 20, 2008 at 5:25 pm | Permalink

    Rami does very good work, but the really ironic thing is that he’s gotten this far by not caring how far he gets or what the judges think. He’s already got a career, and every piece of work he has done would appeal to the clientelle he already has. He is transparently approaching the show from the perspective that every episode is an opportunity for him to advertise his existing style, not try to give the judges what they want, because he doesn’t expect to win but thinks the show will raise his own profile even if he loses. It’s a very smart strategy.

  33. dananddanica
    Posted February 20, 2008 at 6:19 pm | Permalink

    It’s not like this is new, its just amplified because it’s a woman and we live in a screwed up world. I still laugh when I think of Gore and his earth tones.
    As far as Huckabee, well his suits are actually very good quality but nothing is going to look “good” on him unless he has had a ton of plastic surgery which I doubt, that kind of weight loss sticks with ya for a long time.
    I would bet Clinton and/or her handlers spend a lot more time on clothes than Obama because of the added bullshit pressure Clinton has in that regard as well as her greater amount of choice. On a much smaller scale this used to bring up many a debate at my old workplace. It was the old have to/get to debate. Women “had” to meet a certain standard that in many ways was higher than the men. Most of the men viewed it as women “getting” to have more options than 2-piece or blazer and tie color.

  34. dananddanica
    Posted February 20, 2008 at 6:36 pm | Permalink

    forgot the add, i used to find that debate funny as they were both basically arguing against the same thing without realizing it.

  35. Fenriswolf
    Posted February 20, 2008 at 6:48 pm | Permalink

    Pah ha ha ha. The way Clinton dresses is masculine?! Really?
    If her pantsuits make her gender confused, god knows what I am as 99% of the time I wear tramping boots, wide leg men’s Dickies pants… With fitted “sporty” (gag, I hate that word) tops. Ha.

  36. tprincess
    Posted February 20, 2008 at 8:48 pm | Permalink

    Andrea: The operative word in your comment regarding Rami is “forced”. Out of all of the challenges this season there are only four in which he did not drape — the denim challenge, the trendsetter challenge (in which he was on Jillian’s team and also was restricted to denim), the Hershey’s challenge, and the weight-loss challenge. Two challenges with denim, one of which he had to follow a certain fashion trend and jive with a group dynamic making draping something that could have ruined thei cohesiveness of their collection, one in which his materials kept him from draping, and one in which his lack of fabric would have made draping a luxury.
    In other words, when he had no choice, he didn’t drape. When he had a choice, that really is ALL he did. He draped his first outfit, his Bitten outfit, his Tiki Barber pants (he prided himself on that one), his prom dress, his avant-garde look, his WWE costume, and his art look. Saying he didn’t drape in all of the challenges ignores the fact that in four of them he didn’t have much of a choice in the matter.

  37. Posted February 20, 2008 at 11:24 pm | Permalink

    So…my list of “best gay men ever” is shrinking.
    Carson Kressley and Clinton Kelly need company.
    Maybe I’ll substitute in Christian (from PR), I kind of love and hate him at the same time.

  38. Eliza
    Posted February 20, 2008 at 11:45 pm | Permalink

    As I said when I sent this link in, when a person is as busy as Senator Clinton, and has actual things to do, the last thing she needs is fancy lady clothes. Running for a plane or climbing into and out of vans in a pencil skirt and pumps? Forget about it.
    It’s so tired to criticize a woman running for president as “too masculine.” Pretend it’s about fashion, but it will still smack of little-lady’s-too-big-for-her-britches sexism. And as several people pointed out, a lot of people might say a man who runs a fashion design school is “confused about what his gender is.” And we call those people “bigots.”
    PS to Liza:
    Oscar Wilde and David Sedaris won’t let you down!

  39. Jennifer
    Posted February 21, 2008 at 12:33 am | Permalink

    Uh, she’s running for President. As long as she isn’t in sweats and tennis shoes, I don’t see what’s inappropriate.
    Also, I happen to like her fashion.

  40. Posted February 21, 2008 at 2:00 am | Permalink

    :-) I went to highschool with Christian. I remember him as being extremely talented and extremely shallow. Last I saw he was hanging out exclusively with the anorexic dancers while drawing stick figures to wear his clothes. I never had any doubts that he’d do just fine in an inherently sexist industry which encourages eating disorders, designing costumes for real life stick figures.
    But you might not want to substitute him onto your list just yet.

  41. SarahMC
    Posted February 21, 2008 at 9:14 am | Permalink

    So much to say about this!
    I am disappointed in Tim, obviously. I agree with you, Katxyz.
    For someone who’s probably been accused of being confused about his gender, I expected more. But yeah, gay men have male privilege too; homosexuality doesn’t cancel out misogyny.
    I love What Not to Wear, but Clinton and Stacy have the same gender essentialist attitude about clothing. There is nothing inherently “manly” about pants or combat boots. There is nothing inherently “womanly” about pink and ruffles.
    Finally, did anyone watch the Project Runway reunion show last night? RICKY! I have always sympathized with him through his crying episodes. They brought it up last night and sort of laughed at him, and he made some remark about how he couldn’t help that he “cried like a woman.” Um, Ricky? None of the actual women cried as often as you did. You didn’t cry like a woman; you cried like yourself. Just goes to show that some gay men will quickly throw women under the bus to maintain some level of superiority as men.

  42. colewj
    Posted February 21, 2008 at 12:02 pm | Permalink

    He basically stated the opposing situations, in my mind, individuals who dress horrible are all confused about their where about of gender. He also stated that in order to be higher achieved one mess dress for the occasion, correct? Well, if I may be so crude to say so, I SHALL be perceived of anything less of myself by fashion icons, media, or what HE perceives as well dressed. I am NOWHERE close to perfect when it comes to fashion. However, those women who are lawyers, doctors, and Hilary Clinton, let alone . . . Need to be perceived as “FASHION DIVAS?” I believe a true AMERICAN woman, not even American, heck international all need to stand on our own two feet. WHETHER you are into fashion or not, but PLEASE for the sake of all women, do it for the RIGHT reasons! Fashion diva or not. . . .

  43. colewj
    Posted February 21, 2008 at 12:03 pm | Permalink

    He basically stated the opposing situations, in my mind, individuals who dress horrible are all confused about their where about of gender. He also stated that in order to be higher achieved one must dress for the occasion, correct? Well, if I may be so crude to say so, I SHALL be perceived of anything less of myself by fashion icons, media, or what HE perceives as well dressed. I am NOWHERE close to perfect when it comes to fashion. However, those women who are lawyers, doctors, and Hilary Clinton, let alone . . . Need to be perceived as “FASHION DIVAS?” I believe a true AMERICAN woman, not even American, heck international all need to stand on our own two feet. WHETHER you are into fashion or not, but PLEASE for the sake of all women, do it for the RIGHT reasons! Fashion diva or not. . . .

  44. colewj
    Posted February 21, 2008 at 12:03 pm | Permalink

    He basically stated the opposing situations, in my mind, individuals who dress horrible are all confused about their where about of gender. He also stated that in order to be higher achieved one must dress for the occasion, correct? Well, if I may be so crude to say so, I SHALL be perceived of anything less of myself by fashion icons, media, or what HE perceives as well dressed. I am NOWHERE close to perfect when it comes to fashion. However, those women who are lawyers, doctors, and Hilary Clinton, let alone . . . Need to be perceived as “FASHION DIVAS?” I believe a true AMERICAN woman, not even American, heck international all need to stand on our own two feet. WHETHER you are into fashion or not, but PLEASE for the sake of all women, do it for the RIGHT reasons! Fashion diva or not. . . .

  45. Posted February 21, 2008 at 12:20 pm | Permalink

    Sad when someone who you respect turns out to be a blight of human skin. The reasons for disgust at Gunn’s behavior are manifold.
    But just to emphasize, as some have pointed out here: It did not begin with the Conan Appearance:
    Link

  46. Posted February 22, 2008 at 12:25 am | Permalink

    I’m surprised you’re surprised. The fashion industry thrives on packaging and repackaging feminine stereotypes. I’d be surprised if Tim Gunn, et al DIDN’T hold utterly sexist opinions.

  47. Posted February 22, 2008 at 3:23 pm | Permalink

    Eliza…how could I forget! My list has doubled.
    Sera…he’s incredibly entertaining television. But he probably wouldn’t give me the time of day since I wear an 18/20, so he isn’t getting a permanent spot. His temporary subbing spot was taken by Eliza’s suggestions. :)

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