Outrage over racist new ad

The Feed a Child commercial made by Ogilvy has been the talk of online today. The ad shows a white (obviously affluent) woman sitting in her grand home, feeding a black child in a similar manner as one would a dog. According to the ad agency it ‘was created with the aim of drawing attention to the extremely important issue of malnutrition in South Africa. It was not our intention to offend in any way and therefore we unreservedly apologise for any offence caused.’

The commercial has definitely creates a lot of buzz, be it for its obvious derogatory nature or the fact that dogs eat more than some of South Africa’s children. Using shock value, Ogilvy certainly got their client’s message across – and people are talking about Feed A Child SA.

Is it every appropriate to use racism/derogatory imagery to drive home a message? Let us know what you think.

The hospital-themed fashion editorial that’s all about sex

Remember online mag Vice’s period-themed shoot? Or those close-ups of male models’ erections? Known for going that step too far, Vice has just released a new fashion editorial called ‘Do Me, Doctor’, showing models in various states of disrepair. From a model posing on a gynaecologist’s bed for a check-up (with legs spread wide) and a wheelchair-bound model dressed in a silver cut-out P.A.M. dress and Triangl briefs to a Louis Vuitton clad, Rolex-wearing model using a pink Prada bag to cover her bits, the, erm, spread is too bizarre, in my view.

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Is this fashion editorial about fashion, but at all? Nope sorry. I only see it as a misogynistic, lets-play-doctor series of photos, all about sexualizing women – no matter the situation.

See the rest of the shoot here. 

PHOTOS BY: GIBSON FOX AT FEELTHEFUTURE

STYLIST: RENEE WARNE AT FEELTHEFUTURE

 

Princest diaries

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A new rape awareness (specifically relating to incest) campaign targeting minors who have been subject to sexual abuse by a family member use Disney princesses and their on-screen fathers to drive the message home. The aim of the poster series is to encourage victims to report their cases in order for the authorities to prevent it from happening again. Just brilliant as looking at this made me cringe.

For more go here: http://www.sainthoax.com/princestdiaries.html

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Why does the ‘perfect’ woman look so … imperfect?

We live in a perfection-seeking age, where fake breasts are preferred over real ones and plumped-up lips to au naturel (usually much thinner) versions. So I have to ask: what do we consider to be beautiful today?

E! Online recently conducted a poll asking their audience which female celebrity body parts they thought were the most beautiful/coveted. The team then ‘glued’ these parts together to create a super-woman of sorts. However, the ‘perfect female specimen’ turned out to look more like Franken-Barbie than Hollywood-Barbie.

The winners were: best hair – Carrie Underwood, best stomach – Rihanna’s abs (plus underboob tattoo), while Sofia Vergara’s boobs and Blake Lively’s stunning toned pins won their respective categories.

What do you think of this glued-together super-blah of a woman? 

 

The age of the Insta-babes

Apparently, taking sexy, half-naked selfies in front of the mirror all day long can be rather lucrative. Insta-famous Australian model Renee Somferfield (pictured) managed to  launch her own modelling career by posting a lot of photos of herself (mainly clad in a skimpy bikini) on Instagram. With over 516000 followers, she now has modelling gigs rolling in – her latest for Maxim.

Women around the world are flocking to Instagram to get their own slice of this pie. Becoming an Insta-celeb happens everyday. It’s about content all the way, and the demand for semi-naked women is always high online.

With the rise of Insta-fame, I wonder whether we should see this as another objectification of women online or if becoming an ‘Insta-babe’ can be empowering?

Ignoring the plus-size market

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Fashion made for plus-size or larger women are often viewed as an afterthought – never executed with intention. Fashion To Figure, a plus-size brand, recently spoke to The Business of Fashion, explaining that when they first launched their label, they were shocked at the lack of competition. It has been reported that women are now, on average, about 11 kilograms heavier than they were 50 years ago, so aren’t fashion brands losing out in a big way by not including bigger numbers?

There has long been an arguably narrow-minded way in which fashion houses have viewed larger women. There has always been a natural tendency for people to categorize, e.g. models that are tall, slim and slender qualify as ‘models’; those over and above this formula are referred to as ‘plus-size’ or ‘real women’. We used to think of plus-size as size 16, maybe even 18 and up.

In recent years, a noticeable effort has been made to ensure plus-size models are viewed as desirable , by the fashion industry, one example being beautiful size 12 model Robyn Lawley who has fronted several campaigns. Yet, when you label models like Lawley or newly discovered ‘it’ model Leah Kelley ‘plus-size’ (especially via Twitter) you risk offending your fellow sisterhood.

On The Business of Fashion, Michael Kaplan writes: ‘Why would anyone ignore this market when women like Adele, Rebel Wilson, Oprah, Queen Latifah, Octavia Spencer, Melissa McCarthy and Christina Hendricks, to name just a few, are massive influencers of consumers and encouraging plus-size women to be fashionable?’

When it comes to the glamorous world of fashion, the ‘larger’ woman is still seen as inferior to the ‘skinny’ woman. Designers feel that curves don’t look good in their designs or, perhaps, that they don’t deserve to. Abercrombie & Fitch’s CEO, Mike Jeffries, notoriously came under fire earlier this year for his refusal to include plus-size labels in their collections, preferring the cool, pretty crowd to represent the brand.

So when will plus-size – coupled with a healthy lifestyle – finally be perceived as beautiful and cool? Skinny, curvy or overweight, we are all women who require suitable clothing at the end of the day. There is more than one type of women out there, so the lack of plus-size fashion is inexcusable and socially backwards. We hope to see more fabulous campaigns featuring plus-size models in the near future and fashion houses taken a step forward in celebrating women’s curves.

China’s last remaining women with bound feet

Once known as a symbol of status and beauty, those with bound feet can still be found in many rural areas of China. More than 100 years ago, the patriarchal practice of food-binding – painfully binding feet in order to prevent growth – was banned in China, yet many villages continued this practice for many years. British photographer, Jo Farrell set out to photograph the last living women who were subjected to this practice as young children. The results were impressive to say the least.

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Photos by Jo Farrell

Terry Richardson: fashion’s debauched villain?

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One of the world’s most recognisable fashion photographers – always clad in jeans, Converse footwear, checked shirt and black plastic specs – Terry Richardson is undoubtedly talented. Having shot covers and high-fashion editorials for Vogue, GQ and Harper’s Bazaar, he has a distinctive point of view and aesthetic, capturing celebrities, up-coming models and It girls in ‘spontaneous’ poses, spotlighting them against a white canvas. Other photographers, like Steven Meisel, have been quick to praise his skills.

Over the last few years, though, the veteran photographer has been labelled ‘The world’s most f**ked-up photographer’ by Jezebel and has been blasted by the media for his ‘perverse nature’. Strings of models have accused him of abusing them on shoots, overstepping the line and touching them inappropriately.

Some excuse him, saying it’s just Terry being Terry, but the latest New YorkMagazine cover story asks: ‘Is Terry Richardson an Artist or a Predator?’ The article examines his extensive portfolio, childhood, sexual assault accusations and his (uncertain) future. Industry insiders are now urging big brands like H&M, magazines and celebrities not to work him.

My guess is that the industry will continue to turn a blind eye to Richardson’s antics, for now at least. Despite the accusations, not much will change until he is convicted of sexual assault. Some publications and celebrities might refrain from working with him; but the truth is they want to work with him. He is good. It is any aspiring model’s dream to be shot by Terry.