Updated: Nov 30, 2018
The 26th Le Bal des Débutantes was a power-packed event as twenty youngsters from prominent families around the world came together for an evening of high fashion, networking and fundraising.
Started in 1992, Le Bal des Débutantes - the brainchild of Ophélie Renouard, is hosted in the French Capital every year to raise funds and awareness for two causes – Enfants d’Asie (Children of Asia) and The Seleni Institute, a non-profit organization providing care and supporting the mental health of women and teenage mothers.
The guest list at the ball, represents the legacy of renowned influential families across the arts, politics, business and culture – as they make an entry into the uppermost echelons of society. This year saw four Indian faces that included Princess Ananya Raje Scindia and Prince Yuvaraj Mahanaryaman Scindia of Gwalior, Aria Mehta and Shloka Birla.
There's something distressing about the news and the images that followed. I could not put a finger on the feeling that I was swept by. I kept asking myself the question- What is upsetting about this ? Couldn’t figure out then.
Until the next day , while discussing projects with some students…. One of them said that he wishes to work on global inequality. Yes , I said and then may be I appeared distracted to the student, because I got lost in thought for a while… Those images came flashing back again…..
We are living in times , when according to Oxfam’s report which was published on the 22nd of January, 2018 stated that richest 1% people of the world bagged 82% of the wealth created last year !!
Also, according to the report :
It takes just four days for a CEO from one of the top five global fashion brands to earn what a Bangladeshi garment worker will earn in her lifetime.
In the US, it takes slightly over one working day for a CEO to earn what an ordinary worker makes in a year.
I could now articulate the feelings that I was going through yesterday, when I had read the article It’s an extreme form of capitalism.
Education in modern times is supposed to be a leveler to inheritance and its working and struggling to keep pace but the influence, power, wealth, health the elites and then their children can access multiplies by quantum numbers. Whilst, global policymakers, governments are already addressing the grave issues of inequality, when we have social and global events like this fancy Charity Ball in France, it makes a bold and brash statement about the Glitterati.
We’re not getting into the details of the designer gowns, jewellery, waltz, glitz and the glamour, branding opportunities, business opportunities this event is associated with. Doesn’t matter so much, for this story, for now.
Inequality is the focus and how it’s increasing not only by default but by archaic social values.
It’s interesting to figure out, why we are still reverential towards social relics like aristocracy, inheritance and all things princely.
Do we still need Cinderella stories ?
Disney has started redefining their Princesses and now all modern day princesses in their stories will have coveted university degrees in unconventional disciplines and subjects. They will aspire to bring a postitve change in society and not wait for Prince Charming to come .
At least somebody’s changing the narrative somewhere. So that we live happily forever!
Do write in and tell us what you feel about the Le Bal des Debutantes?