Friday, July 29, 2011

Beauty is Creepy

Yo. Soooooooooooooooo awesomesauce IT'S FRIDAY BEEZIES! Join me in celebrating this joyous occasion! (Unless you work on weekends of are one of those totally lame people that survive sans 9-5 wageslavedom or are unemployed or homeless in that case this is now totally awkward.)

Upon my virtual wanderings...I realized something. Well, first I'll tell you something I realized a long time ago. Physical Beauty is a social construct, for the most part. We just can't win. Circa areallylongtimeago, voluptuous modestly-endowed figures were all the rage, and well guys, you wouldn't be caught dead wandering about without your trusty codpiece. This love of le curves for the most part was passed down through the ages, with a hiccup in the 1920's, until the 1950's. Beauty used to be kind of depressing to the typical female. Now, Beauty is totally CREEPY.
To make a long story short:

Marilyn Monroe,
Legendary. Curvacious.
Oh, dear. High Metabolism begins it's reign, plaguing the minds of adolescents everywhere.

Cindy Crawford,
Ok, a little more realistic. And by realistic I mean less starved.

Britney Spears,
Oh crap. Being impossibly skinny and have a killer rack? Great. I miss Twiggy.

A bit of fresh air for curvy-bottomed women everywhere. 
Funny how things have come full circle in the last 50 years or so.
However, still pretty much hahayeahright. 

You may be thinking, ummm, where is the creepy part? All I see is a bunch of bangin' babes. WELL the meat of this post is the way in which beauty is LITERALLY contrived by artificial means and shoved in our faces every waking moment, thus changing the standard from difficult to fit to completely impossible, unless we all start walking around with digitized cutouts of ourselves with eye holes.

First, the creepiness of "putting on your face". This isn't new, it's been weirding people and giving women cancer and acne for a long, long time.

Uhhhhh yeah gross.

So, there's the makeup thing. Moving on to: Too bad my bathroom drawer doesn't have PHOTOSHOP SO I CAN ALTER MY PROPORTIONS.

See? literally impossible? How annoying! Those tricksy little marketers...

So, this one is pretty much the same thing as the above video, except longer and more sad because it takes a cute little girl in the throes of conference call sneak attacks and GLITTERMUSTHAVEGLITTEREVERYWHERE!!! and transforms her into the "ideal" little pre-teen., complete with straight A's and saying "thank you mom, for picking me up from school with a towel on your head! It amused me, I love you!"
 CA-REEPAY!! I'm telling you!

So. In this decade of digital Barbies, what's a girl to do wait for the day when women are "supposed to" look as "hott" (note the double "t's") as this:



Wednesday, July 27, 2011

Alex Prager

Heeeeeeyyyyy there folks.

So, if you've been to San Francisco MoMA (note the lower case "o", I'm so hip it's ridiculous) within the last year or so, you will have seen Ms. Prager's works emblazoned on the white partitions, taking your breath away. In case you haven't, here's a bit of a teaser for you. Oh, and if you live within 500 miles of San Francisco, get your butt over there and check this ish out! I don't care how long it takes you! Or that gas is like 9million dollars a gallon! It's worth it! Truuuuussssst me.

So, Alex Prager is a photographer heavily influenced by cinematography and awesomeness. In addition to her amazing photo works, she has a film short on display at the MoMA called "Despair". It's mesmerizing. Just a few minutes long, yet I was stuck there watching it for like, an hour. Ok maybe ten minutes. Ok MAYBE I only watched it all the through once. Whatever. Details, schmetails.

Dadadadddaaadummm! Chaaarrrrgeeee!!!! into this sweetness:

 Despair, Film Still #1, 2010

 Julie, 2007
 Susie and Friends, 2008

 Irene, 2010

Desiree, 2008

So, totally awesome, RIGHT?!?!?!

While we're on the subject of art, I've spent the morning mournfully looking AGAIN at the possibility of getting a graduate degree in something art related.  Can I just moan for a bit about how freaking expensive getting an MFA is?

'K thanks.


Friday, July 22, 2011

Hyena Men

Ok lovelies.

Here is a giant WTF for y'all. The Hyena Men.

Then Hyena Men are a family in Nigeria who use traditional herbs/incantations/amulets to capture and train WILD HYENAS, BABOONS, AND PYTHONS. So, if I were to choose between being thrown into a cage of lions or hyenas, I would choose lyons in like .5 seconds. And Baboons?? Have you seen the incisors and those things? Oh, and, hey, this isn't life threatening enough let's throw in...hmmm...oh I know a GIANT DEADLY SNAKE!! Yay! (Um, on second thought, I highly doubt any of these men have ever uttered "yay".)

They take their animals around, perform with them, and people literally shower then with money. They also sell their medicine and protections againts, yep, you guessed it, wild animal bites, particularly snakes, as well as most any ailment spiritual, physical, and psychological.

So, this dude Pieter Hugo caught wind of these BAMF's and went on a quest to document them. He traveled with this particular group for eight days. To read the full story, see more pictures, and get more information on the particulars of the Hyena Men, go here.

The Hyena Men

 Hey, check out these teeth that would TOTALLY EVISCERATE ME IN TWO SECONDS!!

This little girl travels with them. I'll be curious to meet her in ten years.

 Side note, if you've been to Africa, religious sayings are EVERYWHERE, like seriously. And every shop is named things like "Holy Spirit Phones" or "God is with us Dressmaker". It's interesting.

 The definition of BadAss.


Not so heehee.

Don't worry, they've bathed her in protective potions since infancy, so she plays with the animals all the time. Say what you will, but whatever they did appears to be working. In any case, I sincerely hope it does, for her sake.

So, I know for many of you this may illicit an amount of repulsion and some might want to go raging, crying Animal Abuse, and how dare they chain wild beasts and make them perform, etc., etc. However, before you organize a mass sitting blocking the gates of zoo in solidarity with the hyenas or mass produce spotted plastic bracelets to raise awareness, remember this. You cannot or will not provide these men with the means to live. You have no idea what it's like to fend for yourself in a poverty-riddled country corrupted by local government and global apathy. So, before you jump on your high horse, realize other people already did, and this was Mr. Hugo's response:

"Many animal-rights groups also contacted me, wanting to intervene (however, the keepers have permits from the Nigerian government). When I asked Nigerians, “How do you feel about the way they treat animals”, the question confused people. Their responses always involved issues of economic survival. Seldom did anyone express strong concern for the well-being of the creatures. Europeans [and Americans] invariably only ask about the welfare of the animals but this question misses the point. Instead, perhaps, we could ask why these performers need to catch wild animals to make a living. Or why they are economically marginalised. Or why Nigeria, the world’s sixth largest exporter of oil, is in such a state of disarray."

Ok enough serious stuff.
Oh wait first, I have a hate/love relationship with controversy. I would adore responses, rants, thoughts on this subject in the comment box below, for lurking beneath some crazy pictures are many serious issues.

Ok now we're done being all adult and think-y.

I leave you with this:

Insert me sitting behind the deer, adorned with live butterflies.

Seriously, I want your thoughts. Nowsauce.

Wednesday, July 20, 2011

Wowtastic Wednesday: Kate Shaw

Ahh. Finally, I've caught up with myself. Wednesday is a good day. It's an inspiring day. So, Wednesday is the day we admire artistswhomakeussayWOW. The people who stop me in my virtual tracks. Being a photographer, I'm going to make no effort to unbiasedly not feature photographers disproporionately. With that said, here's an mind blowing painter.

Behold, the work of Kate Shaw:


I feel like I really don't need to say any more.
Il Fin.