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“For almost a century we have been brainwashed by the beauty industry,” says the photographer Ben Hopper of the inspiration for his new project, a series of images of fashion models with full-grown armpit hair. The body of work, titled “Natural Beauty,” pokes a small hole in the unrealistic, limited standards we expect from female models in beauty editorial and advertising images.  The artist explains that female hair, a part of ... Read More
Okay, so American Apparel hired a 62-year old model, whatever. Dutch photographer Erwin Olaf took body appreciation to a new level and started a photo series featuring dozens of scantily clad mature models #WERKIN' it.  The series titled "Mature" takes aim at everyone’s obsession with sexualizing women’s bodies and the ticking clock of youth and beauty. Olaf reminds us that there is no age restriction on embracing your body; you can never start ... Read More
WE ARE JUDGING YOU FOR JUDGING EVERYONE UK Vogue editor Alexandra Shulman recently told the Telegraph that “people don’t want to buy a magazine like Vogue to see what they see when they look in the mirror. They can do that for free,” and I am livid. Although Shulman has rallied against the ridiculous sizes of sample sizes in the past, her latest statement contradicts the very essence of embracing all bodies. It also brings up how gross the ... Read More
Do you ever play that game where you look at someone’s face very intently and try to figure out what they’d look like 30+ years from now? Like the 3D version of that app that (crappily) superimposes wrinkles and loose skin over the subject’s face? That might just be me, but I’m pretty sure we’ve all wondered at one point or another what Rihanna will look like when she’s 70, and I am willing to bet money that she’ll still ... 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
  “What is between my legs is not thoroughly who I am. If gender is black and white, I’m grey,” says Ryley Pogensky, a gender queer model participating in Barney’s New York’s new campaign. Pogensky is one of almost twenty transgender and gender queer models featured in the catalog and ad images, shot by the legendary Bruce Weber.    Each model has a story to tell, hailing from communities across the globe. Culturally, ... Read More
“There is no reason to retouch beauty. We think THE REAL YOU IS SEXY.”  So reads the closing line of aerie’s recent letter to young woman, accompanying a campaign advertising its Spring 2014 collection. The lingerie company, affiliated with American Eagle, is giving their target demographic of girls (aged 15-21) an ad campaign free of retouching. Can I get a hallelujah?!  Titled #aerieReal, the campaign attempts to deal with the beauty ... Read More
  Art critic John Berger’s text Ways of Seeing suggests that women in art are often displayed for the pleasure of men, tilting their heads and looking at the viewer with an air of suggestion and submission. There’s a connection between this idea and his claim that advertising sells fantasy more than it does products; ads seem to suggest, “Buy this, and this girl will want to sleep with you.” The objectification of women ... Read More
   The relationship between women and fashion is complicated, or at the very least, layered. We all need to buy clothes. That one’s obvious, or like the first layer. The second level of this cake (I’ve made it a cake) is the clothes that we buy reflect how we are judged. Teen girls all over the internet are counseling each on how to dress like a certain persona (i.e. Wear hemp bracelets if you want to be a surfer). At the top of our cake ... Read More
I have kind of a weird relationship with makeup. As a kid I hated it because my mom made me an enabler to her Macy’s makeup counter addiction: I’d fidget for what seemed like hours while a woman in a white lab coat paid what sounded like empty compliments to my mother’s skin as she applied "eyebrow gel" or something equally unnecessary-seeming. I remained completely disinterested in wearing it myself until two years ago, when I discovered the ... Read More
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