Liberation Shoes were worn during the depths of the Cultural Revolution for their affordability and durability.
Now, unfortunately, they seem to be making a comeback among the fashionable elite and have become popular in Europe and Japan. Which, of course, grates my nerves because of lots of reasons.
But here, have a picture.
(Though serious side-eye to all non-Chinese who wear the new, ~ upgraded ~ ones, and a good deal of Chinese who wear them too. 1) If you have no claim to that period of history what makes you think you have the right to take what is one of the symbols of the era (an era, I might remind people, characterised by suffering and massive anti-intellectualism) and turn it into ~fashion~? 2) Seriously? Ospop distributes them now for $75 USD. They used to be under 10 RMB. Talk about stripping the significance from something and then selling it for loads more than it was when it actually did mean something (i.e. shoes you could afford because your family was dirt poor because everyone was dirt poor because this was China in the ’60s and ’70s). 3) Why would you ever feel nostalgia for the Cultural Revolution? It’s not as if it were a wonderful, lovely time. Well, okay. I understand if you lived through it and feel nostalgic for certain elements of it — I certainly can’t fault people for that. But the young folks who feel that everything was “simpler” back then? Ew to you and don’t talk to me.)
These shoes make me fume so much—I feel an inordinate amount of protectiveness of my heritage against these shoes and those who endorse them.
My mother lived through the entire Cultural Revolution and lost so many important possessions, her home, and most of all, both her parents during it. I’ve seen the way that era still hurts her today. I’ve heard all the horrible stories, read all the disgusting accounts, and seen all the disturbing pictures. I’ve seen the way it’s affected her friends who also experienced the era.
So no doubt it angers me to see objects from the period that embody so many painful elements of that time appropriated for fashion. I have NEVER understood how entitled those of the fashion world think they are to believe that a product as tasteless and demeaning as these shoes are acceptable in any shape or form.
WOW WHAT A FUCKING SLAP IN THE FACE TO ALL MY RELATIVES WHO GOT FUCKED OVER DURING THIS TIME