August 19, 2012

THE TEENAGE GIRL SHELL GAME

There are 61 years between those two photos below, both belong to Conde Naste, maybe the biggest fashion magazine publisher in the world (it's too late for me to check the actual numbers, but I am fairly certain it still is, despite the loss of circulation everywhere) -

This one is from 1949



This one is from 2011


Now, I am not going to talk about my personal preference in dress style, anybody who's known me for longer than ten minutes will know that I prefer the glamor shots and the fashion of the 1940s, want I want you to do is to look at those two images for more than a minute.

The first one shows, whether you like it or not, a woman, she's dressed up, yes, but there is something about the way that she's photographed that tells you she's her own woman, regardless of the realities of the 1940s and 1950s America, where this wasn't the case at all, where women were only their own for as long as men would allow them to.

But again, not the point here. There's sexy in that image, but there's also a certain distance, she's the kind of woman who you'd like to pass on the street and maybe give her a glance, you wouldn't whistle, of course, she's too classy to give her a whistle, but you would look.

The second image from last year, what does that show you?

I don't know about you, kids, but what I see is something straight out of what's called the Uncanny Valley in CGI animation, airbrushed and photoshopped to the max, but also composed in such a way that it sexualizes and makes these two girls (I'm sorry, but I will not call them women), both with strange, elongated necklines not only Barbie dolls, both objects and sex objects, dressed in creepy layers of something that's somewhere between innocence, both of them sucking on those whistles, both of them look at each other as if they're about to get into some kind of lesbain love feast that only waits for you, the guy, to join in.

These two photos are not the only things, of course. We dress our little girls like 20-year-olds and our 20-year-olds or even 30-year-olds dress like teenage girls, blurring the line not only in fashion but also in our sexuality as to what a woman is and what she shouldn't be.

No, I am not saying that the way girls and women dress today is an open invitations to do whatever the hell you are thinking right now, looking at the second image. What I am saying, though, is that it gets increasingly more difficult to know who's what.

Think about it. The next time you see someone walking down the streets.

If it's a woman dressed as a teenage girl.

Or a teenage girl dressing as if she was a woman.