What horrifies me most is the idea of being useless: well-educated, brilliantly promising, and fading out into an indifferent middle age.
legalizeflorals asked: While I do think that the Lammily doll is a big step forward, since at least it shows a more attainable and realistic body type, I agree that the ideal would be a diverse group of dolls. So I think that's something we can strive for, but we should still be celebrating the progress we have made.
Yes to progress, most definitely but progress without some critical “you can do even better” is too often an easy out… For instance the plus-size model industry is getting recognition for curvy models but there is already a “standard” plus-model ideal forming. It can be very dangerous to back-off a fight when it’s just getting started- the second we are satisfied with the portrayal of Women in the media will either mean the best day for women or the worst- the day we said “close-enough.”
Freckle-Barbie and The Secret Battle for Humankind Soul
As a photographer and as a woman I’m usually pretty tuned-in to the changing dynamics of feminism in our media-culture. Lately, I like many of you, have been seeing a barrage of plus-size model talk and images praising “curvy” which is awesome as long as it’s not hateful toward other body-types but today I read an article about making Barbie into a more “average” body. While I know there are many benefits to our cultural iconography reflecting achievable and diverse images, part of me immediately recoiled at the idea of “average” Barbie. Partly because as anyone who has shared clothes with another woman of the same label-size knows that size is the least of factors when it comes to fit. Average all you want, I may wear a 16 and my sister may wear a 16 but we aren’t going to look the same in those pants. Making “average” bodies the ideal isn’t diversifying, it’s just changing the ideal. Think bigger picture here. What will happen when society starts glorifying an “average” figure? All the men and women with “outlier” body-types will not only gain no social benefits, but in fact be in worse shape as far as representation in our media. The problem is the underlying assumption that there is only one way to be beautiful and that women (and men) obsessively battle for one shape or another to reign supreme. I tend to think that most smart women of a certain age (about 22 and up if me and my friends are the control) realize that our bodies are pretty good to us, regardless of how they look in leather pants and that our friends bodies are pretty great even with stretch marks or bony knees or big foreheads. The more time I spend photographing people the more lovely I find diversity. I have my muses, sure, but even those girls evolve and change and age and it’s brilliant. Because it’s the details of a human that make them different, and it’s that difference that makes them interesting and beautiful. I would never want to average that out of existence. I like to photograph clothes on tall skinny girls because they make things look extreme and thats eye-catching and shows off the clothes but I adore with equal passion the big eyes or long noses or mom-hips or gray hairs of other women. I like the short girls with no boobs, I like the soft rolling skin of a mothers belly, I get lost in the wrinkles in the corners of my grandmothers eyes. So do I think “average-Barbie” is a bad thing? Not entirely, but I think there is a better way. Give little girls tall-skinny big-boobed Barbie (we all know at least one woman who -god help us- actually is Barbie) AND short and dumpy barbie AND no-boobs but great ass Barbie AND freckle Barbie… mass produce diversity. Don’t average all the beauty out of the world, just open your eyes to what is already beautiful about it.