Paul M Bowers
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@AmyMccTobin @JoeCardillo @jenzings @Paul M Bowers Not a whit. But, if we are going to bemoan stereotypes and double standards, we cannot say the photo is OK, as it creates the stereotypes and double standards we bemoan.
1 year, 8 months ago on The Double Standard in Women’s Equality is Alive and Well
@JoeCardillo @jenzings @Paul M Bowers
Important- she's free to do and appear however it suits her. As has been noted many times, this individual is getting a LOT of press out of this, and if that's her goal, I say go for it.
I'm also amoral on the idea of how one wishes to appear to the public. If she wants to be naked, that's just fine with me. I'm a guy, we like nudity. It's one of the ways we choose what to watch in the evenings.
As a society we don't get to have it both ways. Women cannot bemoan the stereotyping of females and hate the power/income differential we still have, but on the other hand support and encourage the tools and methods that perpetuate the stereotype. We just don't get it both ways.
The Supreme uses the Miller three-pronged test to define pornography, and includes the words "appeals to the prurient interest".
We've all taken to define prurient interest as the most damaging to our society, and will go as far as to censor nudity and brown bag the covers of magazines that feature nudity.
I believe images like we're discussing are far more damaging to the interest of women (and thereby our society) than prurient interest publications because I believe them to be dishonest in intent.
Images like these are designed to place the subject as a *supplicant*, but dress her up in haute couture to make it "fashion" and it's all ok?
I don't think so. I believe the "fashion" world is more pornographic than Vogue, Elle or More. (More- now THERE'S a quality mag. Not only casting women as supplicants, but,supplicant consumers as well)
I think prurient interest publications are at least honest. They are there to arouse the "reader" (I just look at the pictures anyway) and make no bones about it. Oops ; )
About power- anyone who's spent any time in couples therapy with a shrink of any value knows:
1.Couples never really argue about sex.
2. Couples never really argue about money.
Couples argue about power, and money/sex are the totems with which we smack each other instead. Power is the thing, folks. One need look no further than these posts to understand how power is important- look through our discussion, especially about the description of men. The unbuttoned shirt, etc. Power appeals to us, and my job as a photographer is to present subjects as powerful and credible. It's our lizard brains. Women are wired to be attracted to powerful men (the unbuttoned shirt!) because in the lizard brain, women need to procreate with men that can provide both food and good genetic material.
Men are less wired for powerful woman, and more wired for good breeding stock. We like boobs that can nurture our lizard offspring (hmm. Reptiles don't nurse. Maybe primordial brain, right?) and hips that can bear them. And we look for opportunities to mate. Not making this stuff up, folks, study your anthropology.
Now- presumably we've evolved as a species, and are now free to have men stay home to nurture our children, and women to slay beasts for our food. But it's not that easy. I can tell you from personal experience there's no free lunch. I certainly miss the powerful position of being an autonomous, powerful entrepreneur, and my wife would love to spend more time as mom. No matter how terrific it actualy works for our family, we cannot deny those feelings. And trust me- once one has left the workforce, it's difficult to return, and impossible to return at or above the position one left behind. Man or woman, it's truth.
But. I spent many years photographing business executives for annual reports. These are critical images- investors look at the images trying to decide if the company and executives are trustworthy enough to invest their hard-earned money. Without winning the confidence of investors (and therby the capital) the company will die.
I'd NEVER cast an executive in a supplicant role. The qualities we all admire and respect (first step to power) about executives include confidence, power, expertise, success, intelligence, command and control, reliability, trustworthy, dependable, honest. Now let's circle back to the image at hand, and I ask you:
What about that image says anything about those characteristics? What part of the image content reinforces our belief that the subject has any of those important traits? Nothing.
The image speaks volumes about the stylist who dressed her, did her makeup, bought the chaise, polished the shoes and chose the bra that made her breasts "just so". Possibly more important is the post-production artist who probably slimmed her, made her skin flawless, trimmed her hair, re-waxed her brow and upper lip, balanced the color so her skin tone is a rosy glow of health and wealth, intensified the color of her eyes, and smoothed her lips. None of these traits are what we value in a human- they are all superficial. So, our supplicant subject places a high value on the superficial- that we now know.
Do you admire that? I don't. Will she get more money in her life because of this? Yeah, probably, and "more power to her" for that.
This image reinforces the stereotype many women bemoan- that of a superficial supplicant consumer, on her back, waiting for a man to come along.
I make a point to show our son the truth behind images like these- how they degrade (yeah, that's a pretty nasty term. Maybe "don't honor" is better) women in general and he'd be better off looking at Playboy.
@belllindsay @Paul M Bowers Sheesh...liberals...
Yeah. Chix dig me.
Have you met my wife?
@Word Ninja @AbbieF There is...; )
Gini, did I teach you nothing about photography?
I have an awful lot to say about this column, but am so short of time, I can't. Maybe Gini will let me guest blog....?
Let me make on teeny tiny point- it's not the image or its content that's the issue here. It's the NATURE of the image.
The subject looks sexy, and comparisons to male executives can be made all day- hey! they're sexy too!
The nature of this image is indeed sexy, but *is anything BUT powerful*. In fact, the nature of the image is what I call CFMQ, which used to be applied to shoes, but roughly translates to "please engage in sexual activity with me post-haste".
CFMQ has a very different meaning when applied to men or applied to women. Look at her pose- it's very passive. Her hair spread out as if thrown, her hips higher than her head, *and her legs in the air*. Folks, this does not suggest a powerful, assertive quality. Attractive, alluring, sure, and absolutely sexy. And I like it!
But not in the same way a sexy shot of Richard Branson is. Imagine a male in that same pose- it's just not the same, is it? And you wouldn't think of him as powerful would you?
I could go on, but .... not enough time.
In the words of a great philosopher,"No, Oz never did give nothing to the tin man, that he didn't, didn't already have."
1 year, 10 months ago on Four Tips to Take Photos for Your Content
@JoeCardillo @Paul M Bowers @ginidietrich @sumnerj14
Funny. I take pictures because I'm too lazy to write and not talented enough to draw.
@ginidietrich @Paul M Bowers A contest for tallest-standing participant? ; )
Can't. Just like a photo contest, it's SO subjective. It would be like a contest for the best fruit- apples or oranges?
Each image, if properly shot from the heart and from the soul, is unique to the individual behind the camera. There will be some images with which I (and others people) will connect more than others.
Our jobs, as image creators, is to demonstrate the unique way we see the world, and our responsibility is to be true to one's individual vision.
Unless I'm getting paid. Then I'm just another 'ho.
Hey, Mister? Ya gotta dime? Hey Mister, do you wanna spend some time?
@ginidietrich @sumnerj14 Perhaps more important- you are telling your story using your own words. not someone else's.
Think about that- as wordsmiths, we write and create, and craft moving stories for ourselves or our clients. And when we do that, do we use other peoples words? Sure, sometimes we use quotes, but imagine going tot he internet and selecting sentences that please you and just "incorporating" them into your story.
You wouldn't do that, right? You want to use your OWN words.
So why do we use someone else's images?
Wow, I'm flattered by all the great feedback, thanks, everyone for the kind words!
If you didn't get to attend this session, I have good news- I can come to you. It's my intention to offer sessions like this (they are never the same) to agencies and companies as creative and teambuilding activity.
firstname.lastname@example.org is where to find me.
Thanks again for all the kind words.