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“Girth and Nudity, a Pictorial Mission” May 12, 2007

Posted by ajaramillo in "the gaze", bodies, books, controversy, Fat Feminism, in the news, magazines/photography, sex sells, sexuality.
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I just came across this article in the New York Times about Leonard Nimoy (yes, Spock) and his new book, “The Full Body Project.” His book features nude, obese women in provocative poses.  He says that the project is a direct response to the pressures women face in being a size 2…

“The women are interested in fat liberation. Their self-esteem is strong. They will tell you that too many people suffer because the body they live in is not the body you find in the fashion magazines.”

He also has a show of photographs, and guess where it is… the photographs are on view at the R. Michelson Galleries in Northampton, Mass., through June!
So what do you guys think? Is this girl power or just another, albeit very different, form of the male gaze?

Romance Novel Covers April 23, 2007

Posted by lindamc in America's Next Top Model, Christine Feehan, Fabio, magazines/photography, objectification of men, romance novels, sex sells, tv.

I can’t remember the season, but in one episode of America’s Next Top Model, the girls had a fashion shoot where they posed with Fabio in order to grace the cover of a romance novel (it was on reruns this weekend if anyone saw it:) I have always had this thing about romance novels: I think they are really trashy and a sad excuse for literature…but I find an absurd amount of pleasure reading them…

I had a conversation with a friend of mine the other day and actually my sister about our obsession with romance novels. They both said to me that they don’t just pick up the occasionaly book in the airport when they travel, but they follow authors and plot lines at such a disgusting rate (according to myself) that they treat the books (in my opinion) like fine literature. They are both Amherst grads who live in big cities and have successful careers. I was at a loss for how they could be not just using the novels as secret pleasure (like, for example certain TV shows are for some people: I love NY or The OC), but a very much out their discussion about what the great romance novelists are writing. I know it could just be a personal thing for them, but I find it fascinating that these two women are so obsessed with books that paint romance in such an unrealistic and unattainable light (especially my sister’s favorites which are placed in historical settings: on a Southern plantation in the 1840s, or in London England during the Revolutionary War). I love them for being sooo bad, but my sister and friend are against me, and say they are an extremely good form of entertainment…and I don’t mean to get too sexual here, but that’s what they say.

Sorry for that tangent, anyway, the real point of this post is to, like the America’s next top model episode, discuss the covers of romance novels. In a recent blog post on ReadersRead.com, a major romance publisher’s ad for new male models was discussed:

Harlequin’s Looking For a Few Good-Looking Men
Book cover of Dark Secret by Christine Feehan Book publisher Harlequin is looking for a few good-looking men to grace the covers of its romance novels. So what, you might ask, is wrong with the male models that traditionally grace the covers? Apparently, they’re too small in the pec department, for one thing (more…)

book club sexuality March 1, 2007

Posted by jenniferlewk in magazines/photography.

I saw an article in the New York Times the other day which spoke about the new, portable pole. The pole dancing party is geared towards the “Tupperware” generation– our mothers’ generation and their mothers as well. What fascinated me was not the “got pole?” t- shirt the woman in the picture is wearing (no joke), but the fact that these women are finally feeling free to assert their sexuality. I think it is basically awesome. While pole dancing is often thought of as a way to objectify women, because of its use in clubs, I think that many of these women are just excited to find their repressed sexuality. While having these portable poles at “over-the-top bar mitzvahs” would definitely be a cause for concern, why can’t these women get some exercise and feel good about their bodies?

shoes and hair February 20, 2007

Posted by jenniferlewk in bad girls go..., magazines/photography.
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In the film, I think the shoe shoe fetish represents the path to greater female agency–that the path can be walked in heels. Although the audience sees the shoes almost every time she has some sort of sexual endeavor (whether by choice or by force), I still believe that the using the high heel shows that despite socially constructed norms, women (and our protagonist) can fight for female agency. While I was thinking about the multiple times the audience saw the shoes in the film, I remembered that Britney Spears had recently shaved her head–I wanted to see what the public was saying about it. I found one article in particular that fascinated me–it basically said that Britney’s head shaving directly correlated to her taking control of her life. The article said that shaving her head was an empowering act done in a moment of clarity regardless of her mental state.  I copied the link below.

(click here for the link)

website mentioned in class on Thursday February 19, 2007

Posted by MP in magazines/photography.
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This is the photo retouching demonstration I mentioned at the beginning of class. Click here to view the presentation.