• Tue, Mar 18 - 12:20 pm ET

L’Wren Scott Tragically Dies And We Still Can’t Stop Caring About Her Stupid Boyfriend

Banana Republic, L'Wren Scott And Krista Smith Celebrate The Launch Of The Banana Republic L'Wren Scott Collection

Yesterday, we were deeply saddened to report that designer L’Wren Scott was found dead of an apparent suicide. While most fashion outlets covered the death with sadness and respect, mainstream coverage betrayed an upsetting gender bias that put Scott in the limelight in relation to her famous partner, Mick Jagger, instead of in her own right.

Everyday Sexism has a collage of some of the headlines, and in my time covering Scott’s death yesterday, I can tell you that this was the norm, not the exception:

If you’d believe the headlines popping up all over the internet, L’Wren Scott didn’t die, Mick Jagger’s girlfriend did. Most headlines didn’t even print her name. By defining Scott only as the girlfriend to a famous man, it erases her entire identity that existed before him and separately from him. Scott had a decades-long career in the fashion industry, spanning modeling, styling, and eventually designing her successful eponymous line. All of this was ignored.

It doesn’t matter that Jagger is more famous than Scott, who admittedly was not a household name in the way Jagger is. It’s about the way that defining her only as a famous dude’s girlfriend erases her from the picture. This is reminiscent of that old “mothers, daughters, wives, and sisters” phrase used so often to define women, as if the only way to make women relevant or valuable is to define them in relation to other people, most frequently to men.

Regardless of L’Wren Scott’s accomplishments, she existed outside of her relationship with a famous man, but that’s a less grabby narrative. Even had she not been the accomplished and beloved fashion figure that she was, she still would have been a person outside of the identity of “Mick Jagger’s girlfriend.” She was a person with a name and a life and she died, and we’re more concerned with her famous boyfriend than with her. Today’s top story relating to Scott is that The Rolling Stones canceled a show to grieve.

I understand that big names like Mick Jagger drive traffic to posts, but it doesn’t seem all that difficult to give the dead the most basic amount of common decency and use her damn name, and not the more famous man she dated. Mick Jagger’s girlfriend may have died, but that’s incidental to the fact that L’Wren Scott died yesterday, and it should be reported as such.

Photo: Michael Kovac/Getty Images 

From Our Partners

Share This Post:
  • CMJ

    The headlines made me rage so fucking hard I can’t even think.

    http://gamemoir.files.wordpress.com/2014/02/e7lfd8x.gif

  • Kay_Sue

    But when you are talking mainstream media coverage…how many people recognize L Wren Scott in a headline? Truthfully, I didn’t know who she was–but I most certainly would click on a link that said “Mick Jagger’s Girlfriend Dead”, because I recognize his name.

    When you’re trying to garner the most clicks possible, sexist shortcuts appear to be a side effect…

    • CMJ

      The fact that even the NYT Style section did it makes me ragey.

    • Kay_Sue

      I can get that rage entirely. I’d expect better of them too.

      But at least one of the ones included was a music section, in which case, the headline was the more accurate portrayal for their readers’ interest.

    • Sexy Robotic Arms Dealer

      It brought out all the Trolling Stones

    • TwentiSomething Mom

      Yes, that was the most WTF one listed. I’m sure anyone reading the style section would know who she is by name.

    • EX

      I get being mad about that. You would think in a media outlet dedicated to her line of work she would be treated with more respect.

    • EX

      That’s what I was going to say. But I don’t think it’s inherently sexist. I’d never heard of her but have obviously heard of Mick Jagger. I would argue that the same thing would happen if the genders were reversed – the less famous man would be described in relation to his more famous girlfriend (and we are talking Mick Jagger famous). Maybe that’s naive of me.

    • EX

      That’s what I was going to say. But I don’t think it’s inherently sexist. I’d never heard of her but have obviously heard of Mick Jagger. I would argue that the same thing would happen if the genders were reversed – the less famous man would be described in relation to his more famous girlfriend (and we are talking Mick Jagger famous). Maybe that’s naive of me.

  • Kaitlin Reilly

    Completely agree. I understand that perhaps people don’t know who she is, and because of that, wouldn’t it be far better to title pieces with “Fashion Designer L’Wren Scott Dies” than “Mick Jagger’s Girlfriend Dies” ?

  • PreciousLostThings

    Wow, I was thinking about this last night. Glad it’s not just me. I was sitting there like “well, I’m not exactly the most fashion forward girl out there, and I know who L’Wren Scott is…and I had no idea she was Mick Jagger’s girlfriend until all the headlines about her death decided to tell me.” Lame.

    • http://www.max-logic.com/ maxfab

      Ooooh samesies! I knew who she was but I didn’t know she was with Mick Jagger until yesterday.

  • scallywag

    Could it get any worse, a name brand designer to stars, but secretly a commercial flop in financial ruin, linked to one of the most eligible bachelors in the world, and yet more lonely, wounded, forced to look the other way, as Mick Jagger cheated and tended to her hands off….. but smile back happy for the cameras, forced to play the unbearable role of perfect, glamorous life.

    One wonders what may have come to a head in recent weeks that may have incredibly unsettled the beloved designer? Had she and Mick really broken up? Had the pair a major falling out….? Or was she just too tired of being and looking the part but never actually being the part that broke her?

    http://scallywagandvagabond.com/2014/03/lwren-scott-depression-harmed-herself-just-weeks-ago/

  • HannahG.

    I agree. Calling her boyfriend (who just suffered a tragic loss) stupid in the headline was pretty callous too.

  • Katty Wills

    I swear sometimes the things I think about to get back at my ex for all the pain he’s caused…may be illegal! But that doesn’t matter at C2S. All my screams are anonymous! Visit http://click2scream.com/ and get all the pent up anger out your system!