I used to read a book a week at least, but I don’t remember the last time I read a book intended for adults. Children’s books are not without their value, though! They are full of important lessons like sharing and standing up for the marginalized and eating vegetables and blah blah morality blah. They are also full of cool fashion advice. A current favorite in my house is The Rainbow Fish by Marcus Pfister, I think because my baby likes sequins as much as I do. And The Rainbow Fish is full of important morals and even more important style lessons.
Here are 6 important fashion lessons from The Rainbow Fish:
1. Clashing is a myth
The Rainbow Fish is covered in scales in blue, green, purple, red, and more, and he’s the most beautiful fish in the entire ocean. Somewhere out there is a minimalist fish in a greige Calvin Klein sheath dress huffing, “Didn’t anyone ever tell him to remove one accessory before leaving the house?” But she’s just jealous. Colors don’t clash. That’s crazy talk.
2. Everything is better when it is shiny
Literally the only reason I bought this book is because I passed it in the bookshop and the holograms on the cover caught my attention. “Ooh!” I cooed, magpielike. I’m pretty sure I’d have bought the baby Game of Thrones if it had enough sequins on the cover.
3. Gold lips are excellent
What are you going to do with your makeup when you’re covered in sequinned fish scales in all the colors of the rainbow, go au natural? Please. Gold lips for work. Gold lips for evening. Gold lips for getting the morning coffee.
4. The Rainbow Fish was kind of a tool, but seriously, who asks a stranger for a body part?
In the book the other fish are all, “Wow, Rainbow Fish is super beautiful!” And they wanted to play with the Rainbow Fish, but the Rainbow Fish was too busy practicing his runway walk to play with them. Then a random fish goes running up and asks the Rainbow Fish for one of his scales, because they’re so beautiful “and you have so many.”
“WTF?” says the Rainbow Fish. “Give you one of my scales? What are you talking about, get away from me!”
The Rainbow Fish might have been abrupt, but I think, “WTF, get away from me!” is a pretty reasonable response to being asked for a body part. I’m pretty sure the same thing would happen to me if I asked Blake Lively for some of her hair.
5. Beautiful things don’t need an audience
After the little fish tells everyone that Rainbow Fish is a tool and they all shun him, he is morose because “what good were all his shimmery, beautiful scales with nobody to admire them?” Did the Rainbow Fish not own a mirror? Did he not enjoy flitting around in his sparkly scales just because it was fun, not because it made other people look at him? I know this book’s lesson is about sharing and selflessness, but maybe the lesson should have been, “Love yourself and don’t look for validation from strangers. Also maybe don’t be so wrapped up in looks, because this obsessed with beauty doesn’t seem healthy.”
6. Apparently you can buy friends
When the Rainbow Fish starts giving away his scales, he is surrounded by the other fish. “Everyone wanted a glittering scale!” Um … is this how friendship works? I don’t think I’d want to be friends with people who only wanted to hang out with me if I gave them jewelry.