World 85

The Emperor’s New Clothes was published in 1837 and, in World 85, was broadly interpreted as fact rather than fiction. The text was interpreted literally, and over time led to the common belief that clothes were only visible to those who are cultured and intelligent.

The Church adopted the story as a religious text, and proclaimed that there was a link between people’s ability to see clothes and their spiritual worth. Nudity is now believed to be in the eye of the beholder, and the sight of an unclothed body is believed to be a sign of an observer’s intellectual limitations.

What if …

The Emperor’s New Clothes was interpreted as fact and adopted as the foundation of religious belief?

Issue targeted:

The existence of any garment can be disputed. Does that make all garments unnecessary?

Inspiration:

The Emperor’s New Clothes by Hans Christian Andersen

This World was contributed by Barbara Brownie (located in Bedfordshire, UK) using a Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 4.0 International licence which allows others to share and adapt the work in any medium and for any purpose, providing that they credit the author and share their material using the same Creative Commons licence.

Does this World remind you of something?

I am keen to hear about any historical or contemporary real-world examples – whether individual practices, subcultures or mainstream activities – that this fiction brings to mind.

Please share any such examples using this form. Thank you!

Published by Amy Twigger Holroyd

explorer of Fashion Fictions

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