Archives for posts with tag: Feminism

During a residency at the Center for Photography in Woodstock, New York, the artist Endia Beal took a group of middle-aged white women to a black hair salon. There, they were given a hairstyle typically seen on black women. After being styled, the women were photographed in a traditional corporate portrait.
The idea for this project came to Beal when she was working in a computer lab at Yale. Sporting a large red afro herself, she heard that many men in the office wanted to touch her hair. Her art project originates from this experience and wants to open discussion about different race, gender and generations. Beal raises questions about how we see ourselves, especially in the corporate world, as the ideal corporate appearance remains, in most cases and even for white women, the white male with his power suits.
For this series, she specifically wanted to work with women at least in their 40s: “I wanted people that had a certain idea of what you’re supposed to look like in the workspace, because it would be a challenge for them to understand what I experienced in that space,” she said. “ And to a degree, many young white women have shared that experience, but for older white women it’s an experience they haven’t necessarily had.” She added that the project is all about taking a risk, stepping out of your comfort zone, and trying out a new experience. Besides the physical opposition between a white woman and her black hair, the most compelling aspect of this work are all of the complicated histories, assumptions, silences and transformations that make the viewer see this issue as a discrepancy in the first place.

AnnAnn BethBeth CharlotteCharlotte ChristinaChristina ChristineChristine EllenEllen LynnLynn ©Endia Beal

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The Ardorous is an online art platform showcasing feminist projects of female creative professionals curated by Petra Collins. Arvida Bystrom is one of the artists featured on the site; her photo series “Lolita” show young girls portrayed in the usual dreamy fetishizing manner very often found in fashion magazines and as described by Nabokov himself in his eponymous novel. Bystrom’s pictures have a subversive quality in the undesired and unsightly body hair that hasn’t been shaved as is usually the expected norm.
emma emma2 emma3 emma4 emma5 emma6 emma7©Arvida Bystrom

In the southern state of Oaxaca, Mexico, live so-called muxes: Men who think of themselves as women. What is so exceptional about this is the fact that they are not marginalized or bullied, but accepted and celebrated. Their social status reaches back into times before Mexico became Catholic, when there were cross-dressing Aztec priests and the culture was inherently flexible in regard to gender. Of course, like in most – if not all – Latin American countries, machismo prevails now and there is not much room for different attitudes towards sex. But in the state of Oaxaca, things managed to remain more fluid. The population believes that the muxes have special intellectual and artistic gifts, that they are lucky, chosen people, colonizing the volatile state between genders. They are considered a third gender rather than having a particular sexual orientation.
Nicola “Ókin” Frioli travelled to Juchitán and photographed the muxes for his series “We Are Princesses in a Land of Machos”. Stunning pictures and beautiful people.

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©Nicola “Ókin” Frioli

The next time you want to watch a couple of cute cat videos on YouTube, watch this instead. I promise, every second of it is worth your time. What a powerful, beautiful and really strong message of female empowerment. I’m in friggin’ awe. Mr. Owens, thank you for having taken the risk. And sorry that these kind of things are still considered a risk nowadays.

 

There were lots of great collections in Milan (Jil Sander and Marni to name but a few), but after having seen Prada, there is really nothing much left to hear, see or do. Miuccia Prada showed such a rich, intelligent collection, managing to show beautiful clothes, while at the same time making a strong political-feminist statement.
So: If you weren’t interested in political messages, you’d find gorgeous color combinations, three-dimensional embellishments, gems and crystals, classically beautiful gowns and tiny, extremely ladylike handbags. If you wanted weirdness, you’d be happy with the usual pretty-ugly shoes, American Apparel-style leg warmers and sleeveless rugby sweaters worn under elegant dresses. And then, politics: The bras stitched upon coats made you think of the enticement usually associated with them, but the way they were placed on the garments, their shapes and presentation (and the overall styling of the clothes, for that matter) put all sexiness ad absurdum. The strong female faces on the coats and skirts were commissioned by Prada to a group of mural artists; their paintings were also on display in the show’s venue. To quote Miuccia: “I want to inspire women to struggle.”
All together, what on paper may sound like a confounding and incoherent head-scratcher resulted in one of the most creative and innovative collections of Fashion Month so far.

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©style.com

Do you think that female business leaders, politicians or women in any position of power, for that matter, are allowed to be fashionable? To put on make-up? To spend money on expensive clothes? To wear high heels? To color their hair? Or would you have more respect for them if they dressed and looked mousy? Take the constant attacks on fashion-loving Marissa Meyer, Yahoo!’s CEO, who can be seen in a glamorous shoot in Vogue’s September issue, or on Texas state Senator Wendy Davis, who admittedly likes to dress in designer clothes. See also the ongoing debate about Michelle Obama’s style. Women can’t really win here: As Anna Holmes writes in an article for Times: “[W]omen who take an active interest in fashion and beauty are to both be commended (personal grooming is indicative of self-respect) and humored (personal grooming is superficial)”.  She goes on to “yearn for a time when female competence in one area is not undermined by enthusiasm for another.” At the end of the day, it’s probably still a question of  the “continuing cultural discomfort with the mere existence of women in powerful positions.” as Amanda Marcotte writes in the article she wrote for slate.com. I couldn’t agree more. So, what’s your take?

Marissa Mayer in Voguemarissa-mayer-vogue

Wendy Davis, also in VogueWendy-Davis-Vogue

The pictures I want to show you today are from different ad campaigns and editorials. Their different takes on masculinity and androgyny really caught my eye. I particularly like the Alexander Wang ad, I find the model’s pose and expression very striking. And I wouldn’t mind owning the outfit in the Calvin Klein ad.

Malgosia Bela for Alexander Wang Fall/Winter 13/14, shot by Steven KleinAlexander Wang FW 13.14

Daria Werbowy for Vogue Paris August 2013, shot by David SimsVOGUE PARIS AUGUST 2013 - DARIA WERBOWY BY DAVID SIMS_1

Karmen Pedaru for Vogue Paris August 2013, shot by Gilles BensimonKarmen Pedaru by Gilles Bensimon for Vogue Paris August 2013 [Editorial]

Vanessa Axente for Calvin Klein Fall/Winter 13/14, shot by Mert Alas&Marcus PiggottCalvin Klein-Herbst 2013

Crista Cober for Jalouse Magazine July/August 2013, shot by Frederike Helwig'On The Riviera' Crista Cober by Frederike Helwig for Jalouse Magazine July:August 2013 [Editorial]

Hilary Rhoda for Helmut Lang Fall/Winter 13/14, shot by Daniel JacksonHilary Rhoda for Helmut Lang FW 13.14 Campaign by Daniel Jackson