More Sexualized Violence in Fashion

Anyone who pays much attention to the fashion world will have noticed fashion photographers have an ongoing obsession with images of women looking dead.

These images are often sexualized, with the models in various states of undress, in lingerie, or lying in provocative poses. The effect is to present violence as sexy.

Advertisement

Hardly a month goes by that we don't find a new example. Here are some recent ones. They're after the jump both because they might not be safe for your workplace (scantily-clad women, blood spatters) and because they might be triggering for some people.

Illustration for article titled More Sexualized Violence in Fashion
Advertisement

New York magazine has a slideshow of images from April 2010 issues of various magazines/catalogs, including a number that present dead-looking women. Lula included a fashion shoot in which women were depicted as having died in a pillow fight (thanks to Chrissy B. for the link!):

Illustration for article titled More Sexualized Violence in Fashion

This one is also from Lula:

Illustration for article titled More Sexualized Violence in Fashion
Advertisement

AnOther ran an image in which a barely-clothed woman appears to be unable to stand on her own:

Emily W. provided us with another example; Lindsay Lohan recently appeared in a number of photographs by Tyler Shields that include sexualized violence (via):

Illustration for article titled More Sexualized Violence in Fashion
Advertisement
Illustration for article titled More Sexualized Violence in Fashion
Illustration for article titled More Sexualized Violence in Fashion
Advertisement

Lohan and the photographer have angrily responded that the images are just art and people shouldn't get so upset.

That, of course, isn't the point. The bigger question is why photographers, artists, fashion editors, and others continue to find images of sexualized violence toward women compelling.

Advertisement

This post originally ran on Sociological Images. Republished with permission.

Illustration for article titled More Sexualized Violence in Fashion
Advertisement

Want to see your work here? Email us!

The author of this post can be contacted at socimages@contexts.org.

Share This Story

Get our newsletter

DISCUSSION

greeneyedfem-old
greeneyedfem

So Moff's Law definitely applies here, re: the "lighten up — it's just art" "defense":

First of all, when we analyze art, when we look for deeper meaning in it, we are enjoying it for what it is. Because that is one of the things about art, be it highbrow, lowbrow, mainstream, or avant-garde: Some sort of thought went into its making — even if the thought was, "I’m going to do this as thoughtlessly as possible"! — and as a result, some sort of thought can be gotten from its reception. That is why, among other things, artists (including, for instance, James Cameron) really like to talk about their work.

[www.racialicious.com]

An artist cannot dictate the kinds of reactions people have to their "art" — if they don't want any reactions at all, they should keep their photos in a private scrapbook. So in conclusion, STFU, Tyler Shields.