Yesterday Vogue Italia posted Ten Rules for Learning to Love your body. It’s a good list and my favs include:
3. Loving your body, fulfilling your dreams and following your passions is not a question of weight: there’s no need to wait to lose weight before being the person you want to me. It’s better to start pursuing your dreams immediately.
5. Ad campaign images and the ones in the magazines are absurdly over-retouched in Photoshop. This is why the women seem so perfect: but you can’t be like models who don’t exist in the real world.
9. Lean to understand and interpret the bad habits that damage your positive perception of your own body. Try to analyse and avoid them.
It’s time for us to get involved in the Karlie Kloss as ‘The Body’ discussion, resulting from her Vogue editorial push back. I picked up the topic on AOC Shop this morning (our not ready for prime time shopping site) writing:
Karlie Kloss as ‘The Body’
The push back against Karlie Kloss’ Vogue Italia editorial is gaining momemtum with this comment exchange in British Vogue.
This Steven Meisel photo from the shoot is not the one pulled — which I do believe was a photographic twisted image and weird angle.
See original editorial and the pulled image reduced to thumbnail, so we don’t put the image in big-size circulation on another of our websites. I read that it’s all over the pro-ana blogs.
I admit that my initial reaction was not one of concern because at least Karlie has muscles.
Having just seen her physique in the Victoria’s Secret show, I didn’t have any concerns about her being anorexic, which she is not in my opinion.
As we beg for larger bodies in editorials — making it a mix of body types and not only the totally prevalent size 0 — I was happy to see muscle on Karlie, from an industry that has basically banned visible muscle tone as well. I compared Karlie to the Arthur Elgort women of the 1990 Pirelli Calendar.
Read Pirelli Defines Sensuality & Fashion Bodies | Arthur Elgort & Karl Lagerfeld. Also Elgort lensed Kloss for Vogue Japan September 2011.
While I’ve written extensively and defiantly on anorexia and totally support Vogue Italia editor France Sozzani’s campaign against it, AOC tries to develop our editorial arguments carefully and rationally.
Clearly, AOC must join this conversation but it’s Karlie Kloss’ comment that will define our position and how we frame the issue. It will be our first truly new twist on this conversation in two years:
“To be honest, I don’t know why they pulled it off. I thought it was a beautiful photo,” she said. “We did a lot of photos that day, and working with Steven [Meisel], working with Pat [McGrath], working with Oribe and Carlyne [Cerf de Dudzeele] - we were creating art.”
We’ve had a hornet’s nest on AOC, caused by Taryn Andreatta’s single image and her imaginary interview in ‘The Offering’, an otherwise artistically-uplifting editorial image-wise. I was basically called a philistine and not a member of the creative elite for having a visceral reaction to this photo of Taryn — as if humans control visceral reactions.
Dedicated to linking the dots between fashion and flogging — not in condemnation, because we all know I love fashion and style — but in terms of the continuum of women’s lives worldwide, we analyze how power over women expresses itself in subtle and also very punishing ways.
In the Name of Art
The development of our own position about the Karlie Kloss images as healthy or not visual images for young women will focus on the argument that making art — as Karlie Kloss stated — gives one a ‘pass’ on any personal responsibility for a response to the images, or their impact and influence on the viewer’s psyche and behavior.
Having just run into this argument personally over my response to Taryn Andreatta, and noting it in another recent piece that I must resurrect, I sense that a new thread of public argument is evolving in the name of art and artists — those members of the so-called creative class.
It says that artists can’t be held responsible for any reactions to their art because that would be censorship. And now that argument is applied to fashion, which wasn’t really considered art in the past. This is a true argument for brainiacs and it’s pretty elevated for our industry.
Reality is that we do have visceral reactions to imagery. The question isn’t who is right and who is wrong. I return to Ellen Gayda’s commentary about the intention of Taryn’s photo and calling it ‘The Offering’. Read Ellen Gayda: Submission Is Rarely A Healthy Woman Gift to Men.
Just as human response to imagery is visceral and not rational, intention can be conscious and unconscious. It was Albert Einsten who said:
I’ve been ruminating over this new accusation that AOC and I aren’t members of the ‘creative class’ and don’t understand that our artists must be free to say and do whatever they wish. What they are saying is so profound that lesser intellects like myself just don’t ‘get it’.
Because I’m opposed to censorship of artists, I must agree with the point that our artists should be free to say and do what they wish with their art. But I will not refrain from comment, even if I earn a new title of intellectual ignoramous by the elite members of the ‘creative class’.
Don’t you think that sounds very Kafkaesque? Reality is that I do see the pot bubbling on the stove as a new form of weapon mostly targeted at women. I never set out to win a popularity contest, although having clocked almost 50,000 page views already this morning, I’m hopefuly doing something right. Some other dumb slobs out there — mostly women — want to hear what I have to say.
I’ll pick up this argument again soon, but do want to go on record with my own “just say no” times 2. Each of us should have our own “just say no” list that reflects our own values and responses to images. It’s part of following the top of article Vogue Italia Ten Rules for Learning to Love Your Body.
I say ‘no’ to both of these images as being in any way inspiring or relevant to my life. They remind me of everything I do not want to be as a woman. I have no desire to look like either of these women because these images are repulsive me. And the men who love me would be equally repulsed if I ever looked like either of these women. These images are beautiful to other women — which is the nature of beauty being individualistic — but they are repulsive to me.
Anne’s Just Say No #1 Cushine et Ochs S/S Campaign
Anne’s Just Say No #2 Irina K by Chadwick Tyler
Fashion copious wrote — accusing Willy Vanderperre of plagarism for doing a nude image of Miranda Kerr on the floor and in black and white, where there must be 25,000 individual such images from a multitude of photographers in circulation. Who knows, perhaps Willy Vanderperre was at Chadwick’s showing:
It’s wonderful how inferior something looks when compared to a higher standard, isn’t it?
I say no. I strongly prefer the Willy Vanderperre image of Miranda Kerr for Industrie #4.
Chadwick’s women are FC’s more beautiful femmes and he is entitled to his opinion. I will take Miranda and Willy any day, because Chadwick’s women scare me to death. They all do, and I’m simply not adequately endowed intellectually to appreciate Chadwick Tyler’s images of women. They repulse me. Read more about Chadwick Tyler women here.
These women have the same deranged, vacuous stare that Taryn Andreatta has above in ‘The Offering’. When women write me — as they do — that Taryn’s image is giving them nightmares and unearthing years of abuse as it did with me and why does she want to sacrifice herself to men like this, I must stand in opposition and support their interests.
Never will I write that the image should be censored, which is why I leave it in all its glory for us to look at. It’s an example of the messages that women send each other. No censorship is permitted on AOC, but I will help women to keep these degrading images out of our psyches by Just Saying No. Let another woman love them but not AOC women. We are too strong for this nonsense.
We can’t stop these images, nor should we want to in a free society. But we can learn to ignore them, even if they are the greatest art created in the history of mankind. Just Say No. Anne
Later Sunday afternoon … I just now received a very complimentary and supportive message from one of the top photographers in fashion. He will remain nameless but let’s just say he praised my intelligence, articulate voice and analysis of images. I laughed to myself reading his words saying quietly “I suspect photographers are of two minds as AOC grows more influential … as many call me a bitch as call me brilliant.” And the beat will roll on, because I’m just getting warmed up on this topic of the ‘creative class’ and the rest of us poor peons. They’re just another self-proclaimed elite of second-grade artistic wannabes, this so-called ‘artistic elite’.
From Franca Sozzani’s blog today:
I think that letting people talk about things they don’t know, or about what they assume to be the truth, is rather interesting as it entails various conclusions.
First: who said these pictures have been heavily Photoshopped is wrong.
Second: very few understand photography and don’t know about the viewpoint a body can be shot from. If the bust is imbalanced with respect to the pelvis and the picture is not frontal, the hips will look wider and the waist thinner.
She continues explaining that in retrospect, she now wishes that she hadn’t removed the image. We understand her point, which is why we never removed the original but did downsize it when used after.
Read on at Vogue Italia