Magazine Unconvincingly Defends Violent Editorial, Calls Critics Sexist

Illustration for article titled Magazine Unconvincingly Defends Violent Editorial, Calls Critics Sexist

12 magazine saw our story about the international attention the tiny Bulgarian publication was receiving for its outrage-baiting, sickening, and truly extremely stupid, "Hey, wouldn't it be awesome to make all the models look like victims of horrific crimes such as those women in the real world suffer all too often, ha ha?" beauty spread. The editors wrote us last night with the following, which we're going to let speak for itself:


We are 12 Magazine, and we feel like we need to answer to the
questions raised in various articles online, concerning our beauty
editorial "Victim of Beauty".

First of all, we would like to say we are happy that our shoot
provoked an international discussion, at some scale.

It is also important to say, that we do NOT support violence of ANY
kind, and this is NOT a shoot glamorizing, or encouraging, or
supporting violence against women.

We believe that images such as ours can be seen from various angles,
and we think that exactly that is what is beautiful about fashion and
photography in general – that anybody can understand it their own way,
and fill it with their own meaning. Where some see a brutal wound,
others see a skilful work of an artist, or an exquisite face of a
beautiful girl.

That being said, we do understand why some accuse us of promoting, in
a way, violence, but we do not agree with that, and we think that it
is very HHHnarrow-mindedHHH way of looking at the photographs.

And after all, isn't it true that we see brutally wounded people all
the time, in real life – on television, in the news, in movies,
videogames, magazines and websites, and they are all very different,
but alike in one thing: some are real, some are not. And fashion
photography is an imitation of real life, sometimes realistic,
sometimes delicate, other times grotesque, or shocking.

In closure, we are provoking even further discussion by asking you and
your readers just two questions:

1. How would you perceive those photographs, if they were accompanying
an campaign against domestic violence? Would you still think of them
as disgusting or you would praise them as brave and thought-provoking?
Worth the think, isn't it?
2. What would you say if those where bespoken men, carefully groomed,
but still, terribly injured? Probably nothing, and quite frankly
that's a bit sexist.

Kind regards,

Huben Hubenov and Slav Anastasov
Editors in Chief

What if? What if butterflies? What if unicorns? What if sunshine? What if then, hm? You bunch of sexists.


Earlier: Violence Against Women Disguised As Fashion


Having a bunch of Bulgarian friends, and having traveled a fair amount there (it is shockingly beautiful), I take 12's side. It is a very unusual country, right there on the boundary between Europe and Asia, and has a very unusual aesthetic. And after what Soviet rule did to them, they tend to be a pretty tough and grim lot. They are definitely NOT yet a part of the standard American and European international culture, and their art has always had a fair amount of the macabre.