Seriously! Have you noticed how smoking is en vogue again? A polemic.
What’s up with all the cigarettes sneaking into fashion pictures lately? Has smoking gone viral? Okay, there are nostalgic shots of fashion photography that feature cigarettes but many of them stem from an age when it was still somehow socially acceptable to light up. You could smoke in restaurants, at night clubs, in the library, at the cinema, on the tube, during lectures, during intercourse, after intercourse, at work, practically everywhere!
And then came the smoke ban that lifted the thick cloud from pubs to reveal a stale smell of smoke mixed in with spilt beer and cheap toilet cleaner. Not so long ago it was the biggest social faux pas to be seen anywhere with a fag in one’s hand. Smokers looked sheepish as they pinched the stub of their rollies with their yellow stained fingers, sucking the smoke through their yellow stained teeth behind crinkled lips that sat in the middle of their sunken grey faces. Forever out of breath, never out of bacci. Have you ever walked through the smoking pit at Paddington station? It is there that you face the disgusting ugly reality of smoking. Suddenly not so sexy.
The fashion photographs circulating through the web present the cigarette as a chic accessory meant to give the image a certain quirkiness or edge, seductive and rebellious. Is it the 90s revival’s fault? Are we to blame Kurt Cobain’s? Or Kate Moss? What happened to admiring the healthy supermodels of the 1980s who spent hours grooming and exercising their bodies instead living off fags and coffee.
Do all these street stylers who think they look sexy look pathetic in reality? Only other smokers think that ciggies look cute. But every smoker also, somewhere deep down, resents him or herself for doing it. At least at one point in their life. Trust me, this comes from an ex-smoker. It is so easy to start yet so difficult to quit this shit.
So quit liking the cigarette pictures, stop pinning them, hold off posting them, put a ban on posing with tobacco. Oh, and don’t ever, ever preach to smokers, they will feel an even deeper urge to light up. Apart from in writing, of course. After all, this was a polemic.