i feel like such a bitter woman, but honestly? this is the 10th time i have seen this image on my tumblr feed in 24 hours. this picture does not seem revolutionary to me. it has been all over the internet, and i even watched the video when it was first revealed on ellen to much praise and adulation. i think my problem with it is that it really strikes me as… well, a new standard body.
it does not look like the women i know. they all look the same. their skin even almost blends together into a fleshy mound. sure, maybe they look a bit more like me than the runway models, but i don’t see myself, i don’t see my friends. the long flowing locks, the perfect skin, the sexy faces. they don’t look like they are saying, “i am happy in my body!” rather, to me, it seems like they are saying “i will seduce you, white man behind the camera.” it is so obvious they are in a photo studio. it seems so obvious that the magazine put out a call for models sized 10-16, not for fat women who are happy in their bodies and would like to be all sussed up for a glossy photo.
juxtaposing this image with the one that set this firestorm alight, the photo of lizzie miller, really brings out what i think bothers me about it. the photo of lizzie miller in the september issue struck such a chord with people particularly because it wasn’t incredibly posed. it wasn’t necessarily her body, but the photo itself, that inspired women. it seems natural, as if she had just rolled out of bed and was talking with a friend or a lover outside of the frame of the shot, especially when we look at it in comparison to this image. her tiny belly roll and fleshy thighs was something that is never seem in mainstream magazines, definitely, but for me it was more the naturalness of the photograph that made it a great photo.
this studio photo, in compairison, sucks. the one woman of colour seems tokenized to me, and they all look prepped for heteronormative consumption. i’m surprised they didn’t have a redhead to balance out the brunettes and blondes. for me, the real problem at heart here is that women’s bodies are still being objectified. change the size, change the standard, but we are still living in a culture where women’s bodies are used to sell products. and that is what the real problem is, and a problem that no one wants to talk about.
well, except for target women.