Are we in fact having a revolution?
Each day I am more persuaded that we are. After the marches, I wasn't convinced that the momentum would continue, but instead its force has multiplied.
The benefit of our polarized country is that we are conversing, and most of us are more informed than ever before. As there are those that are still saying hurray to the new administration, I have stopped talking to the dark side, stopped attempting to change minds that feed on Fox news, and working on and hoping for a fleeting Trump era.
I am a Hungarian Jewish refugee who fled my native country in the 1956 uprising.
I know a thing or two about revolutions and recognize their alchemy.
I well remember 1956 when my parents, my younger brother and I escaped just as the Soviet tanks were rolling into Budapest. Crossing the border at 13, I held tight to my few treasures, a custom made fetching bikini, the forbidden large hoop earrings, a pair of hand crocheted summer gloves, and enough family photos that to this day, they are the only ones to speak of my mother as a beautiful bride, or my father handsome in cavalry uniform sitting on his pale horse.
After nearly a year of Austrian and French refugee camps, we were allowed to settle in Canada, and later in the United States. My parents spoke little English and their work prospects were nil. I spoke English (albeit an antiquated book form) and rather brazenly invented a career for myself.
Being very young, I couldn’t claim experience, but made it up in confidence. I convinced Toronto's premier radio station’s unsuspecting manager into giving me a talk show, and just like that, I became the sweetheart of truck drivers from midnight to six am. That is how I supported my family until a most unusual opportunity was offered: a Hollywood screen test. This unexpectedly led to a major Hollywood movie contract with 20th Century Fox. when I was still under 17. I relocated the family to Los Angeles, and many intriguing years followed.
I eventually married a most wonderful man. Together we had love, marriage, children, illness, heartbreak, and the death of our teenage son from cancer. Our tragedy culminated in my husband’s suicide and the loss of my beloved mother…all within a year.
I credit the many trying young years for the resilience and the fortitude to survive.
I was and am an immigrant and find it easy to this day to hold that perspective.
I treasure the country that I adopted, that adopted me.
I think of Americans as the people who live in America.
Aristocracy here denotes a nobly behaving person, not a lineage of long generations. Our friends, colleagues and neighbors are Russian, Iranian, Turkish, Saudi, Mexican, Hungarian, Russian, the proverbial melting pot.
Bu recently, I do not recognize this great country that opened its arms as my family gained a foothold. It is now a country whose present leaders’ values are completely antithetical to mine and those I hold dear.
I am in revolt, in MY WAY. I am standing up the way that I know how.
So, as a "fashion person" what am I wearing to the revolution?
My heart on my sleeve for those who are being turned away at our borders.
I throw my hat into the ring of the righteous in solidarity with all women and their families. They are those who question and refuse to consider the unthinkable issues that flow from the present administration.
I wear in protest the girdle of protection for my fellow hard-working immigrants of the past, present and future.
I throw down the gauntlet to challenge interference with liberty, equality and fraternity. The French are not the only ones who hold these ideals.
I turn up my sleeve in camaraderie with all who are distressed, and are attacked through issues that were unthinkable before.
Foremost, I wear light shoes as to not even bend a blade of grass on the threatened and precious Mother earth.
My style Is my voice — a symbol of the personal freedom that one becomes used to, and the independence that is the hallmark of our country.
My clothing by the esteemed designers, who at times are friends, link me to all free-thinking and creative people: those who strive to bring beauty, to uplift and honor the best of inspiration, not the worst of evil and despair.
Today I “wear” my values as I revolt.
I also stand with the single parents whose children face catastrophic illness and are so burdened by this stress that they have exhausted all financial and emotional resources. These are the families that my foundation, The Andre Sobel River of Life Foundation, serves. ( www.andreriveroflife.org)
Feelings and opinions are out in the open in a way that has not been necessary in the past and I trust that chaos will settle and sanity prevail. I even hope that we walk away from the present threat with new conclusions, and stronger commitment in the future of what we need, and what we refuse to accept.
I refuse even to imagine that fear can grip this country, where the slogan of the last eight years personifies fearlessness, and coined the refrain I CAN!