Tuesday, July 22, 2014

Unrealistic Editorial

source: LundLund, Photographer: Aorta, Stylist Kari Hirvonen for SCHÖN magazine

I like a Tinkerbell with bride of Frankenstein hair and shiny thigh-high black boots. This editorial is a lot of fun and it does what it's supposed to do; take you to another place. That is what fashion editorials are supposed to do. 

The reason that's significant is because it is really annoying to hear/read anything about how fashion is depicting "unrealistic" body images, which lead to disorders stemming from body image problems and general unhappiness of women. We are all familiar with this argument. Women see something in a magazine, it's implied that that's the expectation and the woman, fool that she is, sacrifices her high calorie sods, self immolating as she is, so that she can please the world around her. Therefore, STOP depicting unrealistic women or else these idiots will all starve themselves because when it comes to women "monkey see, monkey do". Women cannot tell the difference between reality and fantasy because women can't handle logic. Well, you probably haven't heard the argument phrased quite like I put it. 

There is a fair amount of good will on the part of the people who want more realistic women in ads. Their heart is in the right place, I will give them that much, but somehow they didn't think this through. So, we live in a patriarchal society, and women get the short end of the stick in so many ways. Part of the reason I feel this thing really caught on is because it implicitly confirms all the negative stereotypes women have been fighting. The more you examine some of the stuff people say on this topic, the more disturbing it becomes. The underlying premise is that women need to be protected from themselves, a dangerous argument that has been used to control women for a long time and everyone is just falling for it again. 

The controversy surrounding makeup is similar. Natural is best, makeup is bad, makeup is fake, men don't like makeup etc. Ultimately, though the problem is not with makeup but with people (men and women) feeling like the have some kind of a right/duty to boss women around about their appearance. They are no better than the marketers who are claiming that you need makeup to have self esteem, the only difference is that they are claiming the opposite*. The underlying assumption is still there though: "women need to be told what to do" and more specifically, "women need to be told the right thing to do". Everyone has got an opinion about whether women should wear makeup or not. It really isn't any one's business if someone (woman or man) wants to wear makeup. Yet, there is some creepy desire to dictate what women should be doing with their faces that I keep detecting in random places. 

I just wish we could focus on some of the more important things than how the woman above looks "unrealistic". She is next to unrealistically large broken dishes, and wearing an unrealistic bouquet hat. There is a very large teapot next to her too. We should start a campaign for the realistic depiction of teapots! People looking at ads such as these might come away with the expectation that teapots are actually this large and feel insecure, unhappy and generally dissatisfied with their own puny teapots. 

I am not defending the status quo. I would like to see a lot more diversity in ads, myself, but not because it would be "more realistic", but because it would be more creative and interesting and I would simply enjoy seeing it. Complaining that a world of make believe is unrealistic, is idiotic. I don't defend the particular choices editors have made, but it is extremely important that they maintain their "free speech". Yes, I went there. I can go further but I won't (here). Freedom of expression is essential, and the pressure to make "realistic" images only, undermines it. Right now it's pressure, but let's hope that pressure won't turn into laws and regulations. I don't sincerely worry that it might, but laws about how you can and cannot depict women have a distinctly distopic ring. I only worry that thoughts like I'm having are far from the minds of people who want to regulate all our problems away. (Yes, I know some counties have taken various measures but I don't really want to get into that).

There is more good news than bad news. According to womenshealth.gov for 2007 (love how they keep these things updated) 60 percent of women are overweight and a third of those are obese according to their BMI (I know, not the best indicator but it's the one they use). On the surface, this is not so good. On a deeper level though, this is ironically, fantastic. It means that women are already making the decision to be themselves, eat as much as they want and do whatever they want. Is it healthy, it's not. What is more important though, to be healthy or to live your life the way you want to live it? Those things don't have to come into conflict, but they can. Women have been bombarded with these "unrealistic" images for decades, yet so many of them seem to be impervious to the message that they need to be thin, (not to say that thin women are dumb sheep). Sure, many women dream of slimmer legs, or a flat tummy, or no cellulite or a smaller nose, or bigger/smaller lips. In practice, most women have higher priorities, have better things to do with their time, know what they really want, are busy and are actually intelligent, thinking beings. They don't need to be "protected" from "the wrong" message. Do I encourage an "unhealthy lifestyle" (not to suggest that unhealthy=overweight and vice versa)? Yes, if that is what you want to do with your life, because FREEDOM!

*I did mean to write that.

Monday, July 21, 2014

Latex on the Beach

More from Camilla Akrans, reminds me of Melancholy Starlet. It's hard to look cold and vampy in the summer, but it is possible.

Sunday, July 20, 2014

Libraries in Books: The Antilibrary

Image: Massimo Listri Biblioteca di Strahov, Praga 2009

"The writer Umberto Eco belongs to that small class of scholars who are encyclopedic, insightful and nondull. He is the owner of a large personal library (containing thirty thousand books), and separates visitors into two categories: those who react with "Wow! Signore professore dottore Eco, what a library you have! How many of these books have you read?" and the others- a very small minority- who get the point that a private library is not an ego-boosting appendage but a research tool. Read books are far less valuable than unread ones. The library should contain as much of what you do not know as your financial means, mortgage rates and currently tight real-estate market allows you to put there. You will accumulate more knowledge and more books as you grow older, and the growing number of unread books on the shelves will look at you menacingly. Indeed, the more you know, the larger the rows of unread books. Let us call this collection of unread books an antilibrary."-NNT, The Black Swan

Saturday, July 19, 2014

Anchalee Arayapongpanich

These fun paintings are from Thai artist Anchalee Arayapongpanich. I can't find much about her but to me, these are from a badass who doesn't take herself way too seriously. I love the excitement, independence and joy portrayed here. The shiny motorcycles are so realistic and I love how the faces are both cartoonish and very human at the same time. 

Friday, July 18, 2014

"Welcome to Hazz"

Hazz means "enchantment" in Ottoman Turkish. This gorgeous residence is actually a bed & breakfast in Istanbul. It belongs to Asli Tunca and Carl Vercauteren. "Only people who want to find it will find it" says Tunca. I wish I was one of those people. I am not sure that "virtually" finding it counts. I would be staying in the library suite. I wonder what kinds of books they have stocked for the "weary traveler", hopefully ones as interesting as the antiques carefully and tastefully displayed throughout this little palace. 


Guess Who

I hope this has the intended effect, here I tried to capture movement and some serious foreshortening. I hope it also looks incredibly awkward as well, unstable. I was going for that. Guess who it is.

Thursday, July 17, 2014

Serge Lutens: Berlin to Paris

Someday I will post reviews of my Serge Lutens perfumes. I have a few and they are all close to my heart. This however is about a book of SL advertisements, Berlin to Paris edited by Nagel Patrick. These images are really fantastic. Most of them are from the 60's, 70's, 80's and 90's but they still look fresh and relevant. The new book focuses on his work with Dior. Scroll through the website through some of the other images to get more of a sense of the SL aesthetic. To me it's a kind of decadent minimalism, a Fellini-esque cinematic sensibility with allusions to fairy tales, ancient civilizations, dreams, and theatre. Lutens is one of my favorite creative people, it's hard to say exactly what he is beyond "artist", and that is what I like about him. 


Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...


fashion Contemporary Photography Gothic Lux Art Libraries Black Interiors Lifestyle Phrontistery Romantic Antique Fantasy Black and White Surrealism Architecture Painting Ruins Jewelry Travel Baroque Retro vintage Books DIY Garden Macabre Mens Film Illustration nu-goth ScFi Cars Massimo Listri Perfume Victorian Wunderkammer Dandy Romanesque Shoes Castle Music Renaissance classic Art Nouveau Flora Hats Reflection Vogue style Art Deco Dolls Leather Medieval Rococo Sculpture car Beauty Cathedral Costume Murals Myth Occult Salvador Dali Steampunk Valentino polyvore Adventure Arabesque Caspar David Freidrich Cemetery Chanel Drawing Equestarian History Alexander McQueen Bespoke Black Metal Cats Dollhouse Edgar Saltus Elsa Schiaparelli Fauna Heidelberg Castle Impressionism John Grimshaw Karl Blossfeldt Roman Loranc Serge Lutens Tom Ford prints Abbey Lee Kershaw Accessorize Blue Dr. Martens Erin Wasson Essie Fellini Givenchy Gustav Klim H.P. Lovecraft Hair Hockney-Falco Thesis Humor Karl Lagerfeld Lana Del Rey Mary Katrantzou Maxfield Parrish Monet Nautical Nick Night Proenza Schouler Roberta Coni Romaine Brooks SciFi Spring Terry Richardson Tory Burch Valerie Hegarty Vampire Angela Rossi Angelo Musco Ann Demeulemeester Anouk Wipprecht Anselm Kiefer Barbie Beccy Risdel Boudicca Brett Jordan Carmen Cass Charlotte Cory ChloBo Cooking Corot Cézanne David Hockney David Lynch Dita Von Teese Doom Metal Eddie Borgo Edgar Allen Poe Egypt Emerson Etro Franco Brambilla Franklin Booth Freja Beha Erichsen Gareth Pugh Guy Debord Harry Clarke Helmut Lang Hun Rick Owens Illesteva Jan Svankmajer Jigsaw John W. Russel Katie Eary Kimberly Ovitz Laboratory Laurie Lipton Linsey Wixson Lionette Lizzy Ansingh MUGLER Madeleine Vionnet Maria Nilsdotter Mario Esteves Mario Testino Marquis by Waterford Michael Schmidt Miles Aldridge Miniature Neff Neon Nest New England Nikolai Alexandrovich Yaroshenko Nina Ricci Norisol Ferrari OOTD Parov Stelar Phantom of the Opera Poetry Reeds Jewelers Rockabilly Symbolism Tattoo Taxidermy Tim Walker Vegan Walter Gay Weston Wilde Wildfox Couture Winter Wojtek Diudmak XXYYXX Yellow Wall Paper Yves Saint Laurent Zac Posen balmain dVb Victoria Beckham punk