Reading Images


Example of the sort of conflated feminine portraiture/fashion photography circulating in UO and on Tumblr… right now.

I really wonder what the style of this “in” photography (see: Urban Outfitters) is saying about the current state of femininity, but have been too complacent in my gentle admiration of it to examine it. But what am I indulging in? The words that come to mind are: passive (relaxed), delicate, broken, light (of little consequence)…

This picture appears here because of how much it is like a dance movement. Which is why I would like to be able to say I like it… But does that just mean that I allow all these adjectives for the feminine to appear in dance? Furthermore, this must indicate to some extent how I want to be perceived as a dancer (and as a woman).

p.s. The name of the flickr stream where this comes from is “arti_ficial.”

I think it’s so important to be paying attention to what we’re visually buying into, as much as ethically, educationally, and literally, if not moreso. Visual rhetoric (along with movies) can be so subversive–and effective–because it (they) affront you while you’re passive, just taking in the image as your eye is meant to do, while other acts of buying into ideals are more active–you make a forward-moving choice and it, in turn, moves you toward that ideal (materialism, the broken feminine, etc).

[for the whole story, or more parts of it, trot to ]

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