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Is fashion trying to make smoking cool again?

Bella Hadid and Kendall Jenner have both posted images of themselves smoking on Instagram. And while smoking is definitely bad and people might not be okay with the whole thing, does this mean that cigarettes are making a fashion-led come back?

Smoking has long been associated with the glamorous lifestyles of the models and fashion people of the world. But since the glorious 90s when Britpop was at its peak and Kate Moss was never pictured without a cigarette in hand, we’ve kind of woken up to the fact that smoking really isn’t very cool and actually, being healthy is rather trendy. So now, I’d say that it’s pretty rare to spot celebrities, models or otherwise, having a cheeky cig in public or on camera.

I guess the fact that Bella Hadid smokes isn’t news. We all saw that video of her smoking in the bathroom at the Met Gala earlier this year. But unsurprisingly it’s never really been something that she ever made a thing of. Then this picture popped up on our Instagram feeds…

I quit 🚭

A post shared by Bella Hadid (@bellahadid) on

Granted, Bella captioned the picture with: ‘I quit’. So maybe she’s giving up the bad habit. But for this to follow a day after her pal and fellow supermodel person, Kendall Jenner, shared an image of her lying across a table in the buff with a cigarette in hand, we can’t help but wonder what’s going on at the moment? What’s the deal with all the smoking for the camera?

i don’t smoke

A post shared by Kendall (@kendalljenner) on

Even though Kendall captioned her post: ‘I don’t smoke’, it didn’t stop the inevitable wave of comment section backlash from swiftly sweeping in. Lots of people questioned why, then, was Kendall holding a cigarette in the first place. Others have claimed it’s pics like this that glamorising the whole smoking thing, which although isn’t ideal, is in no way new.

Nevertheless, society’s general attitude towards smoking is pretty clear. We’re not fans, more of us than ever seem to be ditching the cigs, and we don’t seem to like to see them in the hands of the celebrities we stalk online. But is the upheaval purely because many consider the likes of Bella and Kendall as super influential role models whose actions are probably mimicked by impressionable young women, or is it to do with the fact that smoking in the context of a generation fully invested in the prominence health, fitness and wellbeing, really goes against the grain and it’s not a sight we see all that often these days?

🇺🇸

A post shared by Kendall (@kendalljenner) on

None of us needs to be told that smoking is bad. We’re all very aware and probably to this day still smother ourselves with perfume to disguise the evidence of having chained a few on the way to our parent’s houses. But there’s a reason smoking has had a prevalent relationship with fashion. And that’s because it promotes the illusion of stringently controlled rebellion. For some reason, we associate it with a ‘fuck it’, cool-girl attitude that at the same time is hypnotically striking to look at. A controversial admission to face up to, perhaps. But one that many of us can probably resonate with.

It doesn’t for a second mean that we shouldn’t question it, though. We shouldn’t mindlessly accept that smoking might be back in fashion when we’re equally bombarded with images that demonstrate how damaging cigarettes can be. But it does seem that this particular image of nonchalant poise and glamour is on the way back, and whether or not there’s truth to Bella’s claim that she’s quit, and Kendall’s suggestion that she doesn’t smoke at all, there seems to be a shift back towards an image we grew far too used to brewing beneath the surface. And for right or wrong, it’s apparently being spear headed by two of the biggest models in the world.

me and @bellahadid rn

A post shared by Kendall (@kendalljenner) on

Words: Jazmin Kopotsha
This article was first published on The Debrief

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