hemlines and SES

One of the insignificant details in Fantastic Beasts that tickled my fancy was the different hemlines of pants. Jon Voight, the successful newspaper editor, had pants touching the tops of his shoes. Newt and the other working class characters had pants hemmed above the ankle. The poverty of streets too poor for cobblestones and the mud and sewage that flood them is something that the movie’s makers wanted viewers to notice. No child or adult I pointed this out to understood the relevance of the hems. They only saw costumes. Most of us don’t even recognize that the stores we can afford to shop carry about three non-standard colors every season. True spectrum of color choices is a financial privilege. When you can’t afford to care, you don’t even realize how much of your choices are made for you, to separate you from their world.

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