The ‘100 years’ video series has featured beauty and fashion trends of the past century from around the globe and until now, Ireland had not been featured in any of the clips. For the week that was in it, the people behind Watch Cut Video decided it was time to chart our ever-changing beauty routines through the years, and the resulting montage has proven quite controversial.
The issue isn’t necessarily that they decided to segregate the looks in both the Republic of Ireland and Northern Ireland, all in a two-minute time frame. While some of the looks lean towards accuracy (nude skin and serviceable updos in the early 20th century), and it was an interesting idea, the 1970s look has caused a considerable backlash as the model intended to represent Northan Ireland is holding a gun. Some viewers insist that the clip makers have unlawfully glamorised a violent and painful period our nation’s history, attempting to pass a weapon off as a fashion accessory, while in response, they say they thought carefully before deciding to include this depiction.
“We used a look inspired by women who were fighting in the Irish Republican Army,” writer and journalist Josh Potter said in the video below. “Whether or not we were glorifying violence or terrorism by including the IRA look was a question I asked of myself, and I think we asked of each other,” he says. “I wanted to use the look simply because it reflected the violence of the time period. I think we would have done a disservice to the project by leaving that look out, because that would have whitewashed a large part of North Ireland’s history.”
So what are we to make of their condensed celebration of Irish beauty? One can see the point of having to make some point of reference to such a dark and complex period, but there is little doubt that they could have gone down a more tactful route when referencing such a sensitive time frame in our history.
What do you make of the clip?
We can all agree the 1980s were kind to no one.
Watch it above and see below for a behind-the-scenes insight into the video: