This is not a test. Unless it is, and no one told me so I haven't revised, which means I'm going to fail. Thanks for that.
Subscribe to: Posts (Atom)

Wednesday, January 25, 2006

Too fast to catch

'tis me on a sledge, hurtling to my doom

The snowboarding photos are finally up at Weather Station.

Tuesday, January 24, 2006

Bloody trenchcoats = High fashion couture

Fashion and misogyny go hand in hand, and all good fashion designers love a bit of violence against women (come on, corsets...)

In support of this assertion feast your eyes on this, part of the Spring/Summer collection for Dior. (As reported by Vogue, link via Boing Boing).

According to the NYT, Galliano's new collection for Dior was launched to "the sound of whips and clanking chains", and models, erm, modeled "skirts splashed with fake blood".

I bet many a misogynist designer's pants were a chaffing that day what with all the excitement.

Tuesday, January 17, 2006

Lady phones and pink schedules

Spurred by a tale involving a dumb boy buying a ‘woman specific’ phone because it looks rather nice having not realised the hidden applications, I decided to look up women specific phones and see what great gadgets the designers in their highly paid ignorance dreamt up to tempt the ladies.

Said 'dumb boy' bought himself a Newgen C800, which in addition to having a camera, speakers and polyphonic ringtones is also modelled on a makeup compact, comes in baby pink, silver or, wait for it, pink AND silver, has stupid buttons that are sure to cause no end of mis-dial problems (see pic) and a pink schedule for recording your period.

Oblivious to the speedy developments of phone technology I had missed the introduction of women specific phones in recent history, their pink schedules, gross colour schemes, retarded interfaces. Newgen aren’t the only one’s jumping on the bandwagon out of town. There seem to be quite a few out there, Samsung, Siemens, all making a common mistake – why the fuck would women need phones modelled on makeup compacts that calorie count and record their monthly cycles? Women who are technologically advanced enough to want and use mobile phones are pretty unlikely to be as technologically retarded as to use the rhythm method methinks. And, just incase you didn't know, not all women are on perpetual diets.

Am I just being simple, but wouldn’t huge music and photo memory be better? Oh no, that’s how they promote the standard [ and by default, male specific] phones.

However, if they're really intent on marketing women specific phones, this might (ahem) stimulate some interest.

Photos tea-leafed from Shiny Shiny

Monday, January 16, 2006

Why they're feminist...

There are three great posts up on Mind the Gap by Winter, Siberian Fall and Naiades each detailing why they're feminist. They have very different reasons, demonstrating some of the many ways feminism is relevent to individuals and communities.

As for me, my mind is far too full of bedroom thoughts for me to think coherently about anything else at all. I have the major horn and it's very distracting. Instead I will post some new doodles by broke and laurelin.

Wednesday, January 04, 2006

The myth of ‘just a little more effort’

It is a modern myth, constructed through magazines, television and films. Shows like What not to wear, magazine features on makeup and hairstyles, films like the Princess Diaries, Miss Congenialiy, Never been kissed, and every other teen movie about a geek girl turned hottie. The myth of ‘just a little more effort’ is just that. It spins a yarn in which girls and women, if they would just try a little harder, could be more beautiful and attractive than they ever dared dream.

The myth of ‘just a little more effort’ rears it’s ugly head in every makeover show you’ve ever seen. Take one ‘confused’ woman, she has no idea what ‘suits’ her, no ‘confidence in her appearance’ and does not fit the cookie cutter sex-pot mould. Find her the perfect clothes, at considerable expense, slather her face in product and makeup, at yet even more expense and finally drastically alter her hair through dyeing, cutting, styling, more and more costly to maintain. The end result is often unrecognisable.

With ‘just a little more effort’ this women has gone from ‘frumpy’ to ‘fabulous’. She has style, confidence and more importantly, sex appeal. It is an interesting feature of such make over shows that they use very overt male gaze camera shots to display the post-transformation women in their sexy new glory.

Films may use the myth in a slightly different way. They take a geek girl, and ugly girl, a loner and through a cruel joke (teen movie standard), or an order (Miss Congeniality) she is tricked, coerced and forced to make the drastic change. Perhaps it is from co-worker respected for her intelligence but not attractive to nearby men to co-worker hollered and drooled over by bosses and colleagues. Perhaps it is from quite shy girl who works hard to latest fad/popular girl at a school full of shallow peers wasting time before their graduation.

It does not matter what the story is about, the core message is the same – make just a little more effort and you will be beautiful, popular and more successful than before. The same core message of the makeover shows and the magazines. Beauty and success is not measured in achievement, intelligence, skill or monetary worth but almost exclusively in the eyes of men, in women’s perceived attractiveness and ability to find a partner.

This myth goes on to create a belief in society that women who apply just a little more effort will become more beautiful and successful. It ensures the beauty industry continues to grow and grow, that women will buy into the latest product that claims to re-sculpt or refine their skin and figure.

The problem though, is that films, television and magazines are not reality. Even if that is exactly what they claim to be. Everyone one has their unique characteristics, flaws. Ultimately these cannot be covered by makeup and clothes. Maybe cosmetic surgery has developed as another facet of the beauty industry in an attempt to finally 'fix', remove and hide these flaws for good. However I think it is these flaws that should be celebrated; the unique failures to fit in, a women’s lack of interest in fashion and cosmetics, her bad taste and garish dress sense.

The myth of ‘just a little bit more effort’ supports the beauty industry because it denies the value of these idiosyncrasies. It turns scornfully on our ‘flaws’. It reinforces over and over that with just a little bit more effort each and every one of us can achieve the ideal. We could be the focus of the male gaze reveal on the latest make over show. It undermines our competencies as people, urging us constantly to criticise our reality and to buy that extra top, product, haircut, magazine feature on weight loss because our perpetual little bit more effort might finally mean we too may reach the mythic ideal.