Resilient – a word used to describe a material that resists torsion, one that remains the same, with patience, one that tolerates, endures, and stays compact. A resilient woman is not just she who has put up with worries and tragedies in her small or magnificent existence; she is a woman who remains steadfast in her dignity. Being yourself does not just mean staying true to yourself, it means first knowing who you want to be and then being that person—not always a foregone connection. Resilient is the human being who stays in one piece under the pressure of a load-bearing structure, saving the elasticity of his or her mineral soul and natural light.
“I think it is important to be yourself,” is such a stock answer it sounds ridiculous—rolled out in talk show interviews, in conversations at the bar, and even in work interviews. The Weariness of the Self is a 1998 book by Alain Ehrenberg that today sounds very on topic.
Being ourselves has never been so easy. Once there was at least the possibility of a fight that served to define our personality, features and traits honed by contrast. Those growing up in the fifties, sixties and seventies reacted against a bourgeoisie boom with student protests and political battles. Unresolved disputes and hysteria were a disease that was rife.
Today, there are no codes, no costumes to rebel against in order to be what you want to be: a selfie in a sensual pose might bring the success that is considered freedom in the minds of the collective. There isn’t even any need to define yourself in order to be yourself, and the weariness of the self increases: without limits, without barriers, without being able to say exactly what the self is, the weariness of being it is all the greater, bringing with it the light-headedness of an abyss opening up before us. While unresolved conflict and hysteria used to be the disease that was rife, today this disease is emptiness: depression.
History is cyclic. Fashions today are rediscovering all that is bourgeoisie, an adjective now used in a virtuous and no longer disparaging context. The same reaction occurred almost a century ago, when a civilization based on aristocratic privilege made way for the self-made man. What was needed then was pre-established order, and respectable bourgeoisie society ticked all the boxes. Today as then, ideals and moral values are called into play as pretexts to reduce a digital freedom that obliterates—we hope it helps to bear the weariness of the self.
Resilient: we need to learn to be resilient. To understand how, we can take metals or minerals as examples—but this may not be enough where humans are concerned, it might not suffice. Let us reduce it to absurdity, as they used to when proving a mathematical theory. What is the opposite of resilience? Cynicism, which means downplaying, and what else can we possibly do here, faced as we are with the hegemony of Google, Facebook and Apple, without lifting our eyes from a screen? We turn to the cynicism of Monicelli shouting at Pietro Germi: “A dead wife? And? Give it a month and the pain will have passed. This is your film, you have to direct it.”
I could also say to you that at this point I don’t even believe in love any more, so wearying is this not knowing what to want, or where to go. You will reproach me for it, hold it against me, “you don’t believe in love any more,” you tell me—and what can I do about that, except reply with all the candor in the world, lip trembling: “Do you know how much love cares about what I believe in?”
Emma in Balenciaga; Photography Michal Pudelka; Fashion Editor Alessandro Fornaro; Creative Producer Paul Joyce Pudelka; Casting Born To Runway; Hair Ronnie Woodward; Make up Bea Sweet; Manicurist Yasmine Elwakil; Emma Dobson at Speciale Management.
Bibi and Ololade in Louis Vuitton; Photography Michal Pudelka; Fashion Editor Alessandro Fornaro; Creative Producer Paul Joyce Pudelka; Casting Born To Runway; Hair Ronnie Woodward; Make-up Bea Sweet; Manicurist Yasmine Elwakil; Casting Born To Runway; Bibi at Storm Management, Ololade at Select Model.
From left to right, Maria in Dior; Emma Valentino and Moncler bag; Bibi in Celine by Hedi Slimane; Indina in Dior; Ololade in Dior; Photography Michal Pudelka; Fashion Editor Alessandro Fornaro; Creative Producer Paul Joyce Pudelka; Casting Born To Runway; Hair Ronnie Woodward; Make-up Bea Sweet; Manicurist Yasmine Elwakil; Emma Dobson at Speciale Management, Bibi at Storm Management, Ololade and Indina at Select Model, Maria Vittoria at Next Models