Tuesday, September 14, 2010

Slouch Conspiracy

Go here. That's right. Go to UrbanOutfitters.com. Now, download their "Late Fall" Catalog.

I promise I'm not selling anything. Look through the pictures. Look at the women. What's wrong here?

They're all hunched over or slouching, like ragdolls. Look at those vacant faces. They look really uncomfortable. Or maybe dead. Now turn to page 15. *GASP!* You can see a hiiiint of  breast-curve on the girl in the pink shirt!

Why are these girls posed so awkwardly? And why don't we see curves anywhere else in the ENTIRE CATALOG? Because the models are posed to disguise their curves.

So, for your reading pleasure, I've compiled my very own How To Model for Urban Outfitters guide:
  • Hunch. Posture is for confident people. You need to take up as little space as possible.
  • Dip your clavicles forward so that you look extra frail and bony.
  • Layers, layers, layers. Giant scarves, oversized shirts, big collars = absolute musts. We want the clothes to wear you.
  • Think like Eve and cover your lascivious, sinful female body with your hair. 
  • Strategically place your hands near your face so your arms cover your chest. This move has the added bonus of communicating insecurity because it looks like nervous fidgeting.
  • "Artful" poses and awkward action shots are essential to help hide those disgusting fleshbags dangling from your chest.
Once you start to look for it, you'll see it everywhere. I call it the "slouch conspiracy."

Women and Other Endangered Animals

This photo is disgusting. It confronts you, like good art should. It's not a new concept, but is is done quite well here. It's awfully significant that Gaga's "bits" are covered by meat. Her nudity is a consumable product. The meat is just a symbol for what's underneath it. But of course, that concept somehow escaped the People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals:
"No matter how beautifully it is presented, flesh from a tortured animal is flesh from a tortured animal," PETA president Ingrid Newkirk said in a statement. "Meat represents bloody violence and suffering, so if that's the look they were going for, they achieved it." 

Look kids, I have a serious beef with PETA (No pun intended. Okay, well, maybe). I have my reasons, but my primary issues are that they lay women out like slabs of meat, exploit their sexuality, romanticize violence against women, and butcher their images... you know, to help the animals.

(They also make bad puns and suck at Photoshop.)

There are literally hundreds of examples of PETA's sexist and objectifying advertising. One of their major spokespeople is Pamela Anderson who is, of course, best known for her massive tits intellect. I'm just saying, it wasn't witty remarks that were bouncing on the intro to Baywatch. Amiright?

Don't get me wrong. I love animals. I am deeply considering becoming a vegetarian, because I think the meat industry is cruel and evil. But between the whole "I'd rather go naked" shtick (and by "naked" apparently they mean Photoshopped to hell...) and the "Vegetarians have better sex" video, I think enough is enough. It's cheap and stupid to advance the agenda of one oppressed group at the expense of another. Says (my new bestie) Carol J. Adams in her introduction to The Sexual Politics of Meat: A Feminist-Vegetarian Critical Theory: "Honoring animals but not women is like separating theory from practice, the word from the flesh." Pot, meet kettle. 

So please, PETA, let's talk. Put down the airbrush. Stop using shock tactics that undermine the legitimacy of your message.  

(And if still don't see what I'm talking about, guys, just watch this.)