Thursday, March 22, 2007

What the hell is wrong with fashion designers lately?

This is a follow-up to my previous post on the heinous D&G ad campaign.

Here are other equally hateful ads. The first one is from Jimmy Choo Shoes (as part of a campaign dubbed "Shoes to Die For"). Dead girl in mini skirt, car trunk, shallow grave in the desert, mysterious, Black man.

This ad just screams "Be careful, Party Girl. Or the Big Bad Wolf will get you and nobody will ever see the rest of you again."

It even earns extra hate-points for its blatant racism, because of the dichotomy White girl/Older Black man, and the obvious suggestion that another White, upper-class (heck, she's got Jimmy Choo's on!) girl has been sexually assaulted and savagely murdered by an animal-like Black man...

The second ad is from Marc Jacobs, and is part of a series of advertisements featuring 12 year-old actress Dakota Fanning, modeling an adult line of clothes, which were reportedly tailored to fit her small size.

The Marc Jacobs ads are disturbing on just so many levels. I don't think it's just has to do with the fact that it's inappropriate to have a child as young as 12 model clothes that are designed and marketed for adults. It mostly has to do with the aesthetic treatment of the photograph. I'll be blunt: she looks dirty and scared (notice the blotches that look like bruises on her face and legs), as if she had been kidnapped and confined and a lurid basement, as if she was just about to be abused.

It's beyond distasteful. It's just wrong. I'm so sick of designers using violence against women - and girls, for that matter - as a medium for advertising. It trivializes and normalizes gender-based violence, and even try to represent it as desirable, or rather, as if the abused person was to be envied, for some sick reason...

Thirdly, if you can still stomach more commercial exploitation of sexual violence against women, you can look at the pictures from an episode of America's Next Top Model. This series, titled "Crime Scene Victims", depicts dead women, most of them dressed in revealing dresses or lingerie, graphically twisted in painful - and sexual - postures, complete with gruesome details such as extensive bruising and realistically splattered blood. According to the judges on the show, those pictures are not inherently degrading, nor disgusting. Rather, they have described them as "absolutely beautiful", "extraordinary... very beautiful and dead", and "powerful".

(Featured: "Strangulation" and "Pushed Downstairs")

Face it ladies: "Abused", "raped" and "dead", are the new "beautiful".


On another, sadder note, a verdict is expected shortly in the trial of a second male charged with first-degree murder, in the matter of the tragic and brutal death of 13 year-old Nina Courtepatte. Other individuals have been charged with kidnapping, aggravated sexual assault and first-degree murder, and are presently awaiting trial.

Ironically, Nina Courtepatte, who was described as a bright and cheerful teen, aspired to become a model.


koko kai said...

This is absolutely disgusting!!! And I believe that step 1 is to make people wake up and realize how disgusting this is. We are surrounded by pictures of women humiliated, stripped, abused, raped, belittled… It is everywhere: metro, magazines, highway, stores, university, newspapers, websites, tv…. And we sit there and pretend we already reached equality and everything and pretty and nice and we don’t have to worry about it. Worse! Women actually BUY those products.

candice said...