Celebrity culture often leads to some internet weirdness, but nothing is stranger than how the general public reacts to death. The intense emotional response to the death of someone you've never met sounds a little irrational - but when someone you've admired for a long time passes, it truly can feel like a sensation of loss.
The celebrity and fashion world was shaken this week by the passing of Karl Lagerfeld. The iconic designer, most famous for his work at Chanel, is often lauded as a creative genius. But he has had a slightly checkered past when it comes to more social and personal issues.
As the world collectively mourned for this controversial figure, some celebs spoke out. One particularly loud voice of dissent was actress Jameela Jamil. Known for her body-positive social media crusade, she called out Lagerfeld in some particularly harsh social media posts.
Chanel is an iconic fashion house.
via: ShutterstockBased in Paris, the haute couture label is credited with revolutionising the fashion industry, creating simple but effective, modern clothing.
It was also founded by a female.
via: ShuttestockGabrielle (or, as her friends called her, Coco) Chanel had a vision for clothing which wasn't as constrictive as the corsets of the earlier 19th century, and popularized a more preppy, sporty chic.
Even those who aren't into fashion have heard of Chanel.
via: ShutterstockThere are certain Chanel products which have transcended the fashion world and are cultural icons - such as the double flap bag, or the No. 5 perfume.
Another image synonymous with the Chanel brand is that of Karl Lagerfeld.
via: ShutterstockThe German born designers worked as the creative director of Chanel, a position he started at in 1983 and truly made his own.
Lagerfeld's vision closely aligned with Chanel's.
via: Getty ImagesHe had a passion for beautiful simplicity, and many of his collections with Chanel were lauded by both the fashion industry and the world.
His collections in the '90s really made his name.
via: Getty ImagesMany see this as the golden era of Chanel, as the biggest supermodels of the age plus Lagerfeld's iconic designs were a match made in fashion heaven.
Many of the signatures of this era are still synonymous with Chanel today.
via: Getty ImagesThis look, modelled by Kate Moss, of a double breasted, white tweed empire waist dress look unmistakable Chanel - and surprisingly modern, considering it's from 1995.
Alongside his designing prowess, Lagerfeld was something of a mythical figure.
via: Getty ImagesHe was known for his stark white ponytail, signature black sunglasses and neat, clean, high collars. Lagerfeld was also known for his close bond with his cat, Choupette.
Lagerfeld passed away on February 19th, 2019.
via: Getty ImagesThe death was the result of a long battle with pancreatic cancer. The designer was 85-years-old.
Many celebrities paid tribute to the icon.
Many models also posted about Lagerfeld.
Kim K also shared her memories.
But in spite of his obvious talent, Lagerfeld was a controversial figure.During his career, he was at the center of many media storms. His track record on racism, for example, is a little problematic. He once used a verse from the Qur'an as a part of a catwalk show, which caused massive uproar.
Lagerfeld also had some troubling issues with women.He has made many misogynistic remarks in his career, but was notably in opposition of the #MeToo movement.
As with many fashion industry leaders, much of his anti-female rhetoric was somewhat superficial.Lagerfeld held a very set idea on what was attractive and unattractive, and often criticised celebrities for their looks. His favorite topic to comment on was womens' weights.
For Lagerfeld, thinness was important to high fashion.
via: ShutterstockHe publicly spoke out against model Heidi Klum and singer Adele for their respective weights. In his defence, Lagerfeld has claimed that his controversial persona is an act - though many don't buy it.
In the wake of his death, much of his remembrance brushed these problems under the carpet.
THIS is what we need to hear ✨ Thank you @WearYourVoice for publishing this! https://t.co/VIqbI7RUPe— Hyperlimenous (@Hyperlimenous)1550687207.0
Many spoke out in support of the piece.
An even bigger celebrity then spoke out.Actress, model and body-positivity activist, Jameela Jamil, tweeted a link to the piece. She also called Lagerfeld "fat-phobic," "misogynist," and "not the best person."
Which, as you may have anticipated, caused some backlash.It's such a tricky issue to call someone out after they've died. Not only does it feel like using their death for your own gain, but it can seem disrespectful. However, it can be equally difficult to see only positive tributes to a person you know had so many archaic and unacceptable views.
Jamil is a British actress and model.She's best known for her work on the philosophical sit-com The Good Place. Jamil is also well known for her social media presence.
She's extremely outspoken about body-positivity.Jamil draws on her past experiences as a model, and a woman in the public eye, to call out fat-phobia and misogynistic beauty standards.
Jamil's posts about Lagerfeld caused some push-back, though.
@jameelajamil I understand what you were trying to do and I apologize if I offended you or anyone else. I just don’… https://t.co/UKinSfDFiM— Cara Delevingne (@Cara Delevingne)1550678238.0
While Delevingne didn't outwardly disagree with the message, she took issue with the timing.
@jameelajamil It saddens me deeply that anyone was hurt, that I do not condone. It is not possible to go through li… https://t.co/qMRl7SVx7i— Cara Delevingne (@Cara Delevingne)1550678770.0
Jamil wasn't having it.She argued that you can't call a persistent track record of harmful and abusive views a simple mistake, but still sent love and condolences to Delevingne.
Jamil also pointed out the place Delevingne was coming from.She claimed as someone of such intense privilege, it's almost impossible to imagine the hurt and pain caused by some of Lagerfeld's words and actions.
Many came out in support of Jamil.
@jameelajamil @Caradelevingne This is WAY more than human error... https://t.co/ILh9X99MMO— Olivia Sod (@Olivia Sod)1550702176.0
Others pointed out the narrowness of Deleveingne's viewpoint.
jameela jamil: cara you are thin and white and super privileged cara delevingne: https://t.co/k0We0ur6Gc— romy (@romy)1550741313.0
There was one positive to the interaction, though.
@jameelajamil @Caradelevingne It’s refreshing to see two people on Twitter actually having a conversation and liste… https://t.co/Wdc6HOQHYx— Chris Tubbs (@Chris Tubbs)1550679263.0