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« Ian Mellencamp | Mario Testino | V Magazine Fall 2011 | Main | Ginta Lapina & Andrej Pejic | Sebastian Kim | Numero #128 November 2011 »
Saturday
Oct292011

Akiss Paraskevopoulos' 'Petites Gouttes De Soleil' Gothic Sun 

A Post Goth Era?

I am reminded this morning that the Goth subculture is found in many countries , beginning as an offshoot of the Post-punk genre and promoting any political and values-driven activism. Known for its preoccupation with darkness and the night, as well as a romantic attachment to the morbid, Goth culture is accepting of multiple types of people. This tolerance also includes the acceptance of widespread religious beliefs from strict Catholics to atheists and polytheists.

Just yesterday, I shared with my body psychotherapist Ellen Gayda the story of my then partner’s son coming home late from a Marilyn Manson concert still wearing dark eyeshadow and black nail polish. Until dawn arose, ending the darkness of our bedroom, I explained to my horrified partner that his son wasn’t gay, just because he was wearing black nail polish.

Driving this 15-year-old home from his guitar lesson the next day, I explained that I would defend him 110% if he refused to take off his nail polish. The choice was his. I only asked that he make his decision within the reality that his father was besides himself with concern, and our entire weekend would be clouded by dad’s attempts to interpret the meaning of his only son wearing black nail polish. 

After three minutes of silence, riding past one innocuous American strip mall after another, the young man asked for my nail polish remover when we got home.

Akiss Paraskevopoulos | ‘Petites Gouttes De Soleil’

Most likely these gorgeous, Goth-inspired images from Akiss Paraskevopoulos are not intended to make any social commentary beyond the fashion effects organized by Martha Dimaki ,who chose the clothes from Deux Hommes, Celebrity Skin and Chistina Scarpeli, with accessories from Maria Mastori.

And yet, the images do prompt a response in my own mind. Given our intellectual perspective at Anne of Carversville, how can they not?  I, too, have a Goth mentality when the focus is tolerance.

As a small-time thinking person, I note that some Goths do become more politicized. In August 2010, big-time Goth Anne Rice renounced her Christianity and specifically the Catholic Church over its persecution of women and gays.

While thinking Goths maintain their commitment to tolerance but also political inaction, Pope Benedict nails the coffin for women, with his determination to reassert the authority of orthodox Roman Catholicism.

One of my favorite commercials of all time, the Axe Angels ad was pulled off South African television this week, because one Christian man made a federal case of its interpretation that Angels do not fall literally from the sky and must be banned. This is what happens when angels wake up to their own power.

Anne of Carversville at War

We live in dangerous times, and I will use all the symbolism at my disposal to advance arguments about the inherent misogyny embedded in monotheism.

Studying the words of other blogs and fashion websites, I realize my willingness to take stands on important issues for women puts me at odds with other bloggers. But that is also why you love me. There is no doubt in my mind — based on so many messages from readers, photographers and models — that this is the only course for Anne of Carversville — or I am just full of bs, without any personal integrity.

Simply stated, my focus is using fashion and culture imagery to advance women worldwide — against stronger forces that are newly determined to take us down in every country, including America. This is what “telling women’s stories from fashion to flogging” means.

So unless fashion editorials carry an artistic message stating their intended interpretation — in which case I feel a moral obligation to the creatives to broadcast their message as intended —  I will make the case that there is an interpretation to be perceived by women viewers, in particular, when looking at these images.

Fashion Without Meaning is PC

Fashion with no meaning is just another form of political correctness. Our clothes, our images, our books all make significant statement about who we are as people — unless one is a totally mindless fashionista.

The fact that the Akiss Paraskevopoulos images are light and not dark, holds meaning of Phoenix Rising for me. I see the Smart Sensuality woman — and the men who embrace her — in these images. She is the 21st century heroine who MUST come out of the shadows and take a position on the issues of our times, before it is too late.

Does the title ‘Light in the Darkness’ mean nothing to Akiss Paraskevopoulos? I think not.

Not just Pope Benedict says you have no right to birth control; the voters of Mississippi are about to give the state full control of women’s bodies, including laws that will outlaw birth control.

The politically-correct expression of the Gothic spirit that says ‘whatever’ must draw some lines in the sand. Pick up your damn swords and fight before you have no rights left. I made this choice a few years ago, writing ‘Controlling Women’s Bodies Is a Fght to the Finish’ and ‘Drawing a Line in Lubna’s Sand, Saying ‘No More’ to the Growing, Global Erosion of Women’s Rights in the Name of Any Man’s Religion’.  

I did not become an ardent feminist (that bad girl so many women love to hate) to see Mississippi’s social conservatives led by Mike Huckabee rule America.

‘They’ are trying to take away your right to birth control, my dears. Now it’s your turn to take a stand. This is the Alamo for American women, for our daughters and granddaughters. Support Mississippians for Healthy Families. I am.   Anne

via Fshng

Reader Comments (3)

im confused why you included the story about your then partners son and the incident with the nail polish and what the has to do with the rest of the story

more over obviously he wanted to wear the nail polish - he put it on - and it was your partner that had the problem, over his is concerned if his "only son" is gay

this is not the sons problem, so why make the son feel guilty about something that was not wrong- also you said you would support him 110% , guilt tripping him is not supporting him 110%

November 26, 2011 | Unregistered Commenternotahater

You have a very narrow reading of this post, clearly within your own prejudices and gender identity. First of all, the story is about goths, not gays. I didn't make him feel guilty, as you suggest. It was an empowering moment for him; and his sister -- who read the post -- confirmed that fact. He told her about the car ride and my willingness to support him if he was gay, goth or whatever and wanting to communicate that reality to him; and his sister remembered the insane weekend. Her father is actually very conservative and has issues w/goth as much as gay. I explained that in this situation the nail polish incident was an act of goth-based self-identity and self-expression. His act was a common phase of teen life and one that is not sufficiently valued and promoted. Also we give up our individualism too soon as adults. Reality was though, that our household was in havoc over his nail polish, and selfishly I was the one getting no sleep and dealing with dad. If painting his nails black was that important to him -- for whatever reason -- I was prepared to have my weekend highjacked to support his need for self-expression with his father. I would pay dearly for offering that support, but I was willing to take the abuse that would come. I sensed that the nails were primarily for the concert. Goth culture is very embracing of differences of many types, as I wrote, and the fashion editorial is Gothic. I'm surprised you can't connect those dots and chose to pounce on the 'gay' identity issue. I would also argue that while you are correct that parents shouldn't have any problems with a son or daughter being gay, you're not at all realistic to suggest that every family just says 'no problem' and moves on with no discussions, hand ringings, tears or tormented moments.

To be really honest, I'm noticing a quiet pattern in comments that if the word"gay' is in the commentary, then any other topic -- in this case teen individuality and self expression, the Goth lifestyle, and parents' relationship with kids -- don't count. Last week, we were faulted for talking about the submission of women and not framing every discussion of women's lives within a queer culture context. It was unacceptable to discussion religion's oppression of women w/o mentioning transgender sexuality. Nonsense. I write about my support for transgender culture, but I refuse to bow to the pc pressure that says heterosexual women can't ever have an honest conversation about being just that -- when they constitute the majority of my readers. A Goth child parenting experience is the topic of this story. But a gay person or one who analyses every writing through a queer lens, only looks to correct those 'flaws' in statements. Imagine if my partner's son was African American. Then I'd be walking a double fault line. Wait, what am I saying. He was.

My reputation on gay rights and transgender is well-established with a majority of our readers, many of them gay and lesbian women both. And I know there is much transgender support for me, because I have covered Andrej Pejic frequently and with respect, sensitivity and admiration for his talent. I note from your other comment that you're on a mission to correct my every fault. Why not pick on the Republican presidential candidates or the Russian legislators who are about to make uttering the word 'homosexual' a felony? Have you signed that petition on our front page? I did, with my public name and a message to the Russians. How about the situation for gay homosexuals in Uganda, where a family member still faces the possibility of a law jailing them for failing to turn in a son or daughter? Have you stood up for those people in your own name? I have -- in 3-4 2500 word articles. Why not pick on the people who are really causing the problems? Like I don't mind the heat, but I am not the problem. In your next comment, I expect you to identify yourself and not hide behind the mask of anonymity. Stand up for your beliefs by stating who you are, as I do. Best, Anne

November 26, 2011 | Registered CommenterAnne

i am confused why i need to tell you my identity, how is that necessary to you. it would not be. you should attack my argument, what i said, all you need to ague about is if my arugment is valid or not, not who it is coming from

as with the son- i differ with how it was handled and yes, when you tell a story like that before a post it will shade the post in a completely different lens. especially when you mention you told this to a woman that concentrates on trying to heal people and becoming more in touch with their bodies- however im glad that he saw it as an empowerment

i do not connect the points, so there is a difference of opinion

there is no need to defend your queer support, it is clear throughout the website and there is no need for me to defend my queer support it is irrelevant

the PC pressure does have a valid point, however if you feel otherwise that is understandable

as with the other blog, i understand that we have a difference of agreement and thank you for changing the words

also i did not expect you to publish my post so thank you and i do appreciate that you responded to it, thank you

im honestly sorry about the criticism that you have encountered, however talking about hot bedded issues like these you are bound to attract highly politically correct argumentative crowds

my comment was too aggressive and i am sorry about that

you dont have to feel that you need to publish this post, as with my other one you can take that down if you please or leave it up, i do feel , as you do also, that it detracts from the website
of course you can do what you please, it is after all your head on the chopping block, not mine

November 27, 2011 | Unregistered Commenternotahater

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