It's Getting Hot in Here: Live From the Jezebel Fifth Anniversary Party

In 2007, Gawker Media launched A Blog for Women. Around the home office, it was referred to as Girly Gawker. From the very start, however, Jezebel was much more than a feminized version of its sibling site. It was something wholly new, celebrating a new generation of women and heralding a new era in women's media. Five years and over three million readers later, we'd like to think we've arrived somewhere (preferably somewhere cooler, where it's not 95 degrees in the shade).

It feels unnatural to write even a short paragraph of self-aggrandizing (site-aggrandizing?) fluff; tooting our own horn is boring, both for us and for you. So we've decided to celebrate our fifth anniversary by honoring some groundbreaking women who we think embody what we're all about. And so we have The Jezebel 25: women who are up-and-comers, women who are the forefront of their industries, be it entertainment or tech, fashion or activism, politics or science. Names you may know, names you should know, and names you'll be hearing much more about in the future.

Blah blah blah, you say. Give us the freaking names!

We'll get to that part tomorrow, Friday. First, tonight, we're throwing ourselves a big, sweaty birthday party — something we've never done! — and enjoying no less than five drinks apiece.


What you should be seeing at the top of this page is a livestream of photos taken at the soiree. But these images aren't just simple party photography; they're actually part of a larger project that we happen to think is pretty cool: The Self-Portrait Project, specifically. What is it? We'll allow them to explain.

The Self-Portrait Project is a work-in-progress that seeks to capture the zeitgeist of New York City and beyond. It is essentially a glorified photobooth utilizing a large, two-way mirror, with a camera set up on the transparent side and the participant located on the mirror side. Using a remote trigger & the mirror's reflection, the participant chooses how and when to shoot him/herself.

In the simple act of letting the model be photographer, the dynamic of the photo changes — as does the energy — and therefore the final image. Giving someone who is accustomed to having their picture "taken" the opportunity to document their own likeness under their own terms produces images that address issues of vanity and insecurity, empowerment and self-awareness, superficiality and substance. As the photographer *and* model, you are wholly responsible for the images you create of yourself.

How truly refreshing: the photo's subject is in control of the gaze. That's something we can get behind.

Stay tuned for more. In the meantime, throw one back for us while we enjoy some birthday cake (and pie, always pie).

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