From Skyler White to Dana Brody, female TV characters have been getting some hatred lately. And it’s kind of incomprehensible that so many female characters invite so much violent wrath. In a recent column, IO9’s Rob Bricken addresses the issue and points to three causes for the glacial attack on female characters: the writing, the audience, and the actors. Writers just don’t write women as well as they write males; a typical television role for ... Read More
There’s been a lot of buzz around a new study that examines the differences between male and female brains. The study, conducted by the University of Pennsylvania’s Ragini Verma and her colleagues and recently published in the journal PNAS, uses advanced imaging to map the connectivity of the left and right brain hemispheres of males and females. The researchers concluded that male and female brains have fundamental differences: males have ... Read More
Patty Carroll, Red Velvet
From Francesca Woodman to Judy Chicago, women artists have long grappled with the idea of the home: are our houses our personal sanctuaries or our monotonous prisons? The photographer Patty Carroll expresses the ambivalent relationship between femininity and the home in her ongoing project “Anonymous Woman,” in which she shoots women, meant to represent everywoman, engulfed in drapes.
Some of ... Read More
We all know that heavily Photoshopped images don’t accurately depict the human form, yet it’s still easy to become lulled into believing that idealized bodies are relatively uniform. Photographic subjects are too often deemed attractive or not, depending on seemingly arbitrary cultural ideologies. We see fine art and the media portray women as familiar hourglasses; men are often pictured with authoritative stances and broad ... Read More
The photographer Lauren Poor can rarely be contained by the medium of photography; she builds monuments to fairy worlds, and she’s even turned her own apartment into a magical universe all its own. In her recent series Shrines, she examines the intersection of photography and fantasy, reconstructing visions from her own childhood dreams. Through the use of painting, dolls, and costuming, Poor is able to transcend the photographic and enter into a ... Read More
Store windows are places into which we can inject ourselves and fantasize about holiday wishes come true. The windows along NYC’s 5th Avenue lure us in at this time of year, promising a cozy, seductive, and nostalgic respite from the icy streets. When we look into store windows, we want see representations of ourselves; we want to project ourselves onto the mannequins or puppets and imagine a more glamourous or sentimental life.
But with our ... Read More
Most skin care products are filled with icky chemicals, and when Cynthia Besteman was diagnosed with breast cancer, she was inspired by her fellow women to create heathy and luxurious products that fit easily into all women’s lives. She founded the skincare company Violets are Blue, and with the help of a biochemist, an herb farmer, and a cancer researcher, Besteman has created a one-of-a-kind “Chemo Care” line. With an eye for ... Read More
The performance artist Nate Hill is known for his groundbreaking work on race in contemporary culture, examining the idolization of white women as ideals of beauty and femininity. In one recent project, he sold milk gargled by college-educated white women. In another, he donned white face. His new project “Trophy Scarves” might be his most controversial yet. In an attempt to shed light on the way men in power look at race and women, he invites white ... Read More
Oh look, it’s Agent Dana Scully of the X-Files carrying a wounded alien! This photograph of a nude Gillian Anderson, adorned with a deceased conger eel, is actually part of Fish Love’s new campaign to end overfishing. The British organization, founded by Nicholas Rohl and Greta Scacchi, released Denis Rouvre’s images of celebrities and dead fish in attempt to raise awareness about deep sea trawling, a practice that continues to fatally ... Read More
We hear it all the time: sex sells. And it’s true. As the art critic John Berger has suggested, advertisements are effective when they sell a fantasy: buy this product, and you will be envied by all. Women in both art and advertising are often posed for the male gaze; in other words, even if there’s a man in an ad photo, the woman is shown facing the consumer, promising to be just as attainable as the product she sells. Her body is symbolically ... Read More