Dolce and Gabbana, Elton John and In Vitro Fertilization

Victoria Ferrara


In reading the article Elton John's Dolce and Gabbana Boycott Heats Up by Emanuella Grinberg of CNN, I could not help thinking about the harm done by Dolce and Gabbana. First, the controversy stems from Dolce and Gabbana (two gay men who were once in a relationship together) calling children born as a result of in vitro fertilization (IVF) "synthetic children," and advocating for "traditional" family values.

Elton John stirred up the dispute by going viral. "How dare you refer to my beautiful children as 'synthetic'. And shame on you for wagging your judgmental little fingers at IVF - a miracle that has allowed legions of loving people, both straight and gay, to fulfill their dream of having children," John said on Instagram.

 Dolce went on to say, "I'm Sicilian and I grew up in a traditional family, made up of a mother, a father and children. I am very well aware of the fact that there are other types of families and they are as legitimate as the one I've known. But in my personal experience, family had a different configuration....I was talking about my personal view, without judging other people's choices and decisions," the statement read.

The problem with an internationally known fashion designers making such statements and then saying they are not being judgmental, is that that is impossible. Freedom of speech, yes. But call it what it is: an opinion, a judgment, a statement about other people's choices and most importantly, a statement that, if given credence, taints the many beautiful children born through IVF to loving parents and families. In fact, their statements have nothing to do with respect and tolerance. Their position creates a value judgment that may well be espoused by others, and even more so because the statements come from fashion celebrities. They should keep these opinions to themselves so as not to cause and create harm. I would think Dolce and Gabbana might want to foster harmony in the world, not valueless discourse. I say valueless because honestly what value is there to criticizing IVF in this day and age?  IVF is an amazing technology that has assisted the creation of beautiful children and families.

Further, the fact that these men are gay and they are now passing judgment on the many gay men creating their families through IVF and surrogacy just makes them seem plain hypocritical.

The most interesting and maybe comical comment was Dolce saying he is Sicilian. I am of Sicilian heritage also and his ideas are not my ideas, that's for sure.

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