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Entries in body image (13)

Thursday
Jan162014

Karolina Kurkova's Pursuit Of Supermodel Status | Fashion Activism & Smart Sensuality Women

Alicia Keys - Girl on Fire

French Roast News

Anne is reading …

Crystal Renn & Karolina Kurkova | Steven Klein | Interview Magazine March 2012 | ‘Strict Institution’

Today’s New York Times Fashion & Style section profiles Czech fashion model Karolina Kurkova, who has achieved semi-supermodel status, and is leaving third base heading for home plate to earning the title ‘supermodel’. As her career winds up into full motion at age 30 — a late retirement date for many models — the mom of a 4-year-old son Janelle Monáe with husband Archie Drury hit the stage last September for the second Global Citizens Festival. Kurkova followed Alicia Keys and her performance of ‘Girl on Fire’, joining the singing back stage.

After the applause died down, she stepped out in front, statuesque in a white Proenza Schouler leather skirt and Manolo Blahnik stilettos. Her blond hair whipped as she leaned into the microphone and spoke with the brio of a cheerleader and the confidence of a politician.

“Hello global citizens, the world is on our shoulders,” she called out.

Whether she’s appearing on Jay Leno, dropping into sitcoms, attending a charity bash, or goofing around with Russell Simmons, Amy Sacco, Gayle King, Prince Harry, or Ban Ki-moon, the secretary general of the UN, Karolina Kurkova is in fine form.

Always wanting people to have a good time, Kurkova says “I’m the girl who gets asked to do things.”

AOC’s Anne Enke is old enough to remember when supermodels ruled both the catwalks and pop culture. With a few exceptions, writes Bob Morris in today’s Karolina Kurkova profile, today’s top models like Joan Smalls, Saskia de Brauw, Liu Wen, Karmen Pedaru and Cara Delevingne are barely known outside of fashion’s inner circle.

In a young world that pronounces models as ‘supermodels’ after a single fashion bible cover, there’s a pure pursuit of instant fame and not staying power. George Michael’s 1990 video for ‘Freecom ‘90’ featuring Linda, Naomi, Christy and Cindy — best represents the era of true supermodels, writes Morris.

AOC constantly explores the relationship between fashion and the totality of women’s worlds globally. We’re also focused on the takedown of the supermodels, Smart Sensuality women too strong, sexy and in charge for their own good. Hence, they had to be reduced to size — and that includes Karolina Kurkova.

See AOC Karolina Kurkova Daily Archive editorials.

Anne Talks Body Image

Mikimoto Pearl Girls 1972: Sensual, Beautiful with Clavicle Fat AOC Body

I argue that the move from an average size 4-6 in models pre Kate Moss (who I love) to size 0 has worked to desexualize women at a time when — like ripe fruit — we were bursting open with pride and celebration over our physicality and sensuality.

We had ideas of buying our own pearls, a goal that threatened the entire gender relations shooting match. It’s tough to imagine that women with bodies like these 1972 females had to be recast as ‘fat, potato chip eating mommies’, but that’s how far we’ve come since 1972.

It’s a dramatic fall and power shift from the end of Christy, Linda, Cindy, Naomi and company.

Stephanie Seymour, Christy Turlington, Linda Evangelista, Claudia Schiffer, Cindy Crawford, Naomi Campbell

If the Supermodels Are Now ‘Fat’, Let’s Reboot Fashion Brains AOC Body

Former supermodel Cindy Crawford, now 43,  announced this week “I would not have become a supermodel in 2009. I look too healthy.”

Crawford’s deliciously female body “with big breasts, normal thighs and toned upper arms” is no longer what the industry is looking for, she said.

More AOC Body

Just Say ‘No’ | Programming Your Brain’s RAS System to Hate Size 0 Fashion Ads

Pirelli Defines Sensuaity & Fashion Bodies | Arthur Elgort | Karl Lagerfeld

Does Today’s Fashion Strategy Suppress Female Libido?

Lipstick Wearing Activists

Angelina Jolie & Alicia Keys Help Me Say ‘Flip It: I’m A Lipstick-Wearing Activist’ Anne’s ‘Sensual Rebel Blog

Just last week I was having an earnest conversation with a VIP in my life about moving again. He was pressing me about my need for full-frontal engagement with activism and also my evolution as an artist and artisan.

Granted — there was some misunderstanding in our communications — but when he suggested that I wouldn’t be happy living in South Beach and in Arizona, I replied in my typically fired-up, passionate response to key life questions: “I’m not a citizen of Philadelphia; I’m a citizen of the world.”

Reflecting back on the early says of AOC — now almost eight years old — I wrote about my evolution as a lipstick-wearing activist, inspired by women like Alicia Keys, Angelina Jolie, Christy Turlington and Shakira:

These wealthy super stars live in 2 Worlds, using their celebrity status and talent to focus our attention on massive, lethal problems that threaten the existence of billions of people.

In the case of Alicia Keys and Angelina Jolie, we admire their beauty and style, along with their dedication to human causes. Their message is simple: If we all do one little something, the planet improves exponentially. Sometimes shifting into first gear, leads to second and third.

We will be judged along the way for being insincere, too sensual, too old or having clavicle fat. Who cares! When a progressive woman is cruising, doing something relevant with her life in the company of loved ones who understand and support her, she becomes a Smart Sensuality woman, the core concept of Anne of Carversville. ~ Anne

Alicia Keys Live

George Michael - ‘Freendom! 90’

Monday
Nov042013

A Formerly Fat Karl Lagerfeld Again Lashes Out At Curvy Women With The Kaiser's Cruel Misogyny

How Body Image Affects Women’s Health For Real AOC Body

Karl Lagerfeld’s infamous mouth is again on the attack against ‘rounded’ women. The Chanel cr4ative director, 80, who was pretty darn round himself just 10 years ago is accused of defamation by the women’s pressure group Belle, Ronde, Sexy et je m’assume (Beautiful, Rounded, Sexy and fine with it).

The suit relates to Lagerfeld’s comments on Le Grand 8 French television channel D8 on October 4. The Kaiser said: “The hole in social security, it’s also (due to) all the diseases caught by people who are too fat.” Lagerfeld then restated his view about larger models, saying “no one wants to see curvy women on the runway”.

Lagerfeld’s comments were also made in his book ‘The World According To Karl’, where he writes that “it’s the fat women sitting in front of televisions with their pack of crisps who say slim models are hideous”.

“We’re fed up,” Betty Aubriere, the group’s president, told AFP. “Many young girls are insecure and hearing such comments is terrible for them,” particularly from famous people. “Today it’s him who insults us and tomorrow who will it be?”

Note that Aubriere’s group is not seeking financial damages but rather public dialogue with Lagerfeld.

AOC has a long history of writing about weight, body image, the fashion industry and women’s health. As the former fashion director of Victoria’s Secret, Anne has lived through the downsizing of the 90s supermodels like Linda Evangelista, Christy Turlington, Cindy Crawford, Naomi Campbell, and other star power girls. Anne’s perspective is grounded in the inquiry of why sexy 90s models, who averaged sizes 4-6, were downsized to a size 0. No one in the fashion industry has ever offered an answer, except to speculate that these models were too popular and powerful.

Our focus at AOC is helping women to achieve self-respect as strong women, whatever our size. Extensive research shows that constant commentary like Lagerfeld’s fuels a cultural obsession with women being thinner than ever. There are many reasons why America, in particular, has an obesity epidemic. Indeed, portion size, empty calories, lack of exercise and too many sugar carbs are key reasons. But self-loathing and guilt are also key drivers of weight gain in America’s bullying, shaming society.

I’m diving into all the latest medical research — over 100 articles — on body image, self-esteem and women’s health to share the latest information on this complex topic with AOC readers. Comments like Lagerfeld’s DO have very negative consequences on women who can’t turn him off in their minds.

If Lagerfeld believes his shaming comments are designed to promote better diet and exercise among women, he is dead wrong. As for his obsession with drinking 10 cans of Diet Coke every day, extensive research condemns diet sodas, saying they actually promote weight gain. For medically-established science, and not the terrorizing commentary of Karl Lagerfeld about body image and women’s health, dive into my first new article: How Body Image Affects Women’s Health For Real AOC Body. ~ Feanne

Friday
Sep202013

Transcending The Target-Market Female Narrative Into An Identity Far More Relevant


The Birth Of Barbie by VenusOak

A Day In The Life Of A Target-Market Female is a powerful postmodern short story by Katie Brinksworth at McSweeney’s Internet Tendency. The events are surreal, yet the tale is strangely familiar to every woman who has ever read a magazine or watched a commercial. It’s both comic and tragic as we recognize the ploys of advertising, and our own susceptibility to the lies of marketing:

At 6 a.m. on the dot, the 25-to 45-year-old target-market female wakes up and stretches with delight, excited to greet the day.

For breakfast, the target-market female debates whether to eat the yogurt brand that encourages her to be herself, or the one that helps her poop. Today, like most days, the target-market female chooses regularity over self-worth.

After drinking a cup of the orange juice brand that makes her look the thinnest, the target-market female lotions up every inch of her body and gets dressed for the day. She then takes a short, breezy walk to a local café, where she patiently awaits signs of male appreciation for her noticeably soft skin.

While she waits, the target-market female daydreams about fiber, smaller pores, and easy-but-creative recipes she can make with precooked sausage. When she realizes the time, the target-market female rushes home to begin the most rewarding part of her day—doing the laundry.

Moments that seem ideal and cheerful are tinged with a dark undercurrent that pulses through the story. Beneath such picturesque actions as “waking up with delight” and “taking a short, breezy walk”, our protagonist chafes under self-denying, self-limiting choices such as “choosing regularity over self-worth” and “awaiting signs of male appreciation”. She is well-behaved, product-dependent, and image-obsessed. I don’t blame her, because I occasionally find myself being that way, too. Don’t we all go through that sometimes? I know that the images are Photoshopped— invisible pores, superbly glossy hair, perfectly white teeth. I know that many of these celebrities who seem to be able to “do it all” have personal assistants, house chefs, fitness trainers, nannies, and millions of dollars at their disposal. Why do I still find myself, sometimes, mercilessly comparing myself to them? When I first read the story I thought the protagonist was laughably ridiculous, until I realized I share her weaknesses. Perhaps that’s why I love the story so much. It helps remind me of how laughably ridiculous I can be, when I allow myself to believe in my insecurities and in the lie of consumerism— the false promise that I will be happy and complete, if only I buy this or that product.

There is nothing wrong with wanting to buy products, and certainly nothing bad about enjoying other people’s appreciation of our inner and outer beauty. The problem is when these things— material possessions and external approval— become the reason for living, the raison d’être. One of my favourite authors, cosmologist and mathematician Brian Swimme explained this well when he discussed the importance of holistic awareness in his book, The Universe Is A Green Dragon:

Humans are easily addicted to beauty, even a clouded vision of it… Anyone who grabs a sliver of beauty and insists that it is the whole becomes a fanatic, workaholic, cynic, fundamentalist, or drug addict.

Having a fractured vision of beauty— mistaking just a part for the whole— leads to extremism in religion and in all other ideologies including consumerism. Objects are not everything, but in this image-obsessed world, it’s easy to believe they are. The target-market female actually lives her life as if she, herself, is an object. Marc Barnes, a Catholic writer whose work I don’t always agree with, made an insightful and particularly incisive observation when he remarked that we allow our very selves to be defined by objective qualities:

Our will to be an object is immense. How much easier it is to be stereotype of religion or ideology, how much simpler to be the sum of our achievements or attractive features, and how much nicer the world would be if we could all be content with our careers, styles, sexualities, and living-room decors being ‘who-we-are’. By placing our very selves in our objective qualities, we live as objects, and this is immodesty, a disintegration between who-we-are— subjects— and how we present ourselves in word and deed— as objects. It is an essential dishonesty.

What a powerful thing media is, when I must remind myself constantly that I am more than just a target-market female, more than just an object. However, it can only have as much power as I allow. It is like the Devil card of the tarot deck— in which people are depicted as being chained, but not against their will. Their bindings are loose enough to simply step out of, if they wish. It’s easier said than done, but it’s still certainly achievable with enough awareness, conscious intent, and self-empowerment.

The target-market female is a cautionary tale, an example of what shouldn’t be. In contrast are the life stories of countless brave women, embodiments of creative feminine power, such as Isabel Allende, Clarissa Pinkola Estes, Risa Hontiveros, and Malala Yousafzai. It is all the more important to share their stories, invoke their narratives, and draw inspiration from their lives. We must nurture the voices of feminine power, and empower ourselves to be among them, too.

Who are the women you admire? Who are the women in your own life, among your own family and friends, whom you find inspiring? What were the moments in your own life when you felt like you were one of them? Let’s write about them and engage them. Let’s craft our own narrative, and not allow advertisers or anyone else to foist a deceptive image of womanhood upon us. Let’s transcend the target-market female narrative— instead of falling for it, we will learn from it and use it as a guide that will point us in the right direction. Let’s take the story into our own hands.

It is said that history is written by the victors, and indeed, for ages, the feminine perspective was simply pushed down and hidden away. History has been “his story” for a very long time. “Her story” has only been given voice recently, and it is up to all of us to shape. ~ Feanne

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Thank you for reading! My name is Feanne and I’m happy to be writing for Anne again after five years of being away. Anne is a wonderful woman whom I’m truly honored to connect with, across oceans and continents. I look forward to hearing from you all as we continue exploring feminine-relevant issues with everyone here at Anne Of Carversville and GlamTribale. You can reach me on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram.

Feanne is a visual artist, singer-songwriter, social entrepreneur, and sustainable lifestyle advocate from Metro Manila, Philippines. As an artist, she specializes in intricately detailed symbolic illustration. She sings jazz-inspired music and composes sweet tunes. She is especially interested in promoting healthy eating, sustainable farming, Filipino products, and eco-friendly technology. Her creative work revolves around the themes of earth and cosmos, magick and mystery, beauty and shadow. To her, Science, Art, and Spirituality/Religion are all chords of the same Universal song. She believes that renewed interest in wise traditions— combined with the advances of modern philosophy, science, and technology— promises to to help create an ecologically and spiritually sustainable human civilization.