The above photo was taken at the Rockefeller Center Christmas tree lighting. You will note, that once again Aretha is wearing fur. It will probably be only a matter of time before PeTA decides to once again turn their attention to the queen of soul, regarding her apparel.
Last year PeTA voted Aretha one of the worst dressed celebrities and it was followed with scathing commentary:
How ’bout some R-E-S-P-E-C-T for animals? Aretha, when you waddled into the Grammys in yet another vulgar fur, you looked as if you were going to perform “I Am the Walrus” by The Beatles. You may be a queen, but you don’t know jack about compassion.
Right, fight for animal rights but be sure to engage in some good ole fashion fat hatred to prove your point. Nothing like relying on an ism to shame someone into performing the behaviour that you want.
To ensure that she got the fat hatred that they were sending her way, Dan Matthews a PeTA VP sent the following missive:
Music lovers may think of you as a “queen,” but to animal lovers, you are a court jester. I’m sorry, Aretha, but your furs make you look like a clown. Why not shed the old-fashioned look that adds pounds to your frame and detracts from your beautiful voice? Won’t you donate your furs to the poor as “queen of compassion,” Mariah Carey, did? You’ll get a tax credit for the donation, and we at PETA will all sing your praises.
You will note that the message isn’t don’t wear fur because we are concerned about animal cruelty but because it will add pounds to your frame. How could a woman possibly want to look fat, cause everyone knows that fat is ugly. And hey, if you look any fatter no one will be able to hear you because they will all be so captivated by you F-A-T.
Aretha for her part responded:
please mind your own friggin business….. and then just maybe, when peta gives an iota about the human race…maybe we can chat…
love and kisses, aretha
Once again, this proves that PeTA’s tactics immediately make people unsympathetic to their cause. By continually engaging in racism, fat hatred, sexism, homophobia and transphobia, PeTA has proven that they don’t care about anyone that does not fit a certain model. How many times must it be said that you cannot fight oppression with oppression. This is a message that PeTA refuses to acknowledge.
I also feel the need to point out that for many Black women of Aretha’s age, fur remains a status symbol. It has historically been something only White women could afford to wear, thereby; making it an item that people covet. Though the message is supposedly about cruelty to animals, to many WOC of her generation it reads as discipline for daring to reach a certain standard of living in a world that only values the accomplishments of Whiteness. This issue is far more complicated than PeTA could even begin to understand but then they have no concern for the motivations and or desires of POC, so I am probably blowing kisses in the wind at this point.