You know the drill: you’re watching the surprisingly pro-women “After the Final Rose” episode of the Bachelor, and on comes the typical ABC family-oriented ads about the perfect wholesome family and what they buy. They are almost always white, heterosexual, suburban pictures of loving parents and obedient yet charmingly sassy children.
But then there’s this Honey Maid ad. Delightfully family friendly with an epic boost of progressive ... Read More
How’s this for subverting conventional standards of beauty? In their new spring fashion campaign, clothing brand Betabrand replaced professional models with Ph.D.s and aspiring Ph.D.s. Challenging the ridiculous cultural notion that women can’t be both beautiful and ambitious, the company’s founder explains, “Our designers cooked up a collection of smart fashions for spring, so why not display them on the bodies of women with really ... Read More
Trapped behind glass cases, the miniature human subjects of Lisa Swerling’s Glass Cathedrals unabashedly perform daily rituals normally veiled from the outside world. The stunning pieces afford viewers with a whimsical type of voyeuristic indulgence. Like children before a set of dolls, we are invited to examine the many mundane moments that compose adult life, breathing life and meaning into each dollhouse-like setup with our own ... Read More
In her own words, the model Erika Linder has “too much imagination to just be one gender;” through the slightest shifts in styling, dress, and emotive expression, she can seamlessly transition from “masculine” to “feminine” constructed beauty ideals. Her sultry and commanding stare remind us of the vast potential of gender expression as a means of self-actualization and individual evolution.
And the fashion ... Read More
Remember when artist Nickolay Lamm created a representation of a realistically-proportioned Barbie doll based off of the body of an average 19-year-old? The internet applauded his efforts, and through his stark visual comparison between Barbie and the average girl, the public began to seriously question the effects of the impossibly thin, tall, and full-chested doll on the relationship between young girls and body image.
Possibly in ... Read More
“Before it happened, I thought about going to the Peace Corps. I wanted to be somewhere, get somewhere bigger. I wanted to grow.” “Every part of me was altered.” Rochester, NY - 2013
Trigger warning: This post contains references to and descriptions of sexual assault.
A few months ago, we featured some images and stories of survivors of rape and sexual assault through the lens of the incredible photographer Lydia Billings’ series ... Read More
“In this society, there’s so much pressure for women to be thin,” writes the photographer Lee Price of her motivation for her recent series of hyper-realistic oil paintings of women consuming desserts, “we’re not supposed to have appetites—and not just for food, but for a lot of things.”
Her goal in these vivid works is to present an alternate view of women, food, body image, and ... Read More
The selfie photograph is potentially profoundly empowering, but as a genre it can also be repetitive and affirming of specific and exclusive ideas about beauty and female self-worth; it all depends on the selfie in question. Amidst the plethora of staged selfie images, one selfie we don’t see very much is a selfie in which a woman’s body is changing unpredictably, and that’s what makes the photographer Sophie Starzenski’s 40 Weeks and a ... Read More
Yes, you read that correctly: butt song from Hell. Hieronymous Bosch’s enigmatic triptych The Garden of Earthy Delights, created around 1500 AD, features in its right-most panel a vision of Hell, the conclusion to the narrative of the divine Creation, the union of Adam and Eve, and life on Earth. The work is so richly symbolic that scholars have battled over the intentions of even its smallest details; surprisingly, I had yet to read any news on the ... Read More
On her 32nd birthday, Beth Whaanga was diagnosed with breast cancer; valiantly fighting back against the illness, she asked her friend, the photographer Nadia Masot, to take portraits of her nude body after a double mastectomy and hysterectomy as part of Under the Red Dress, a project designed to spread awareness about regular breast and pectoral examination. The beautiful series of images features Whaanga, a mother of four, gazing fixedly at the camera, ... Read More