Saturday, April 19, 2014

Dancing With Mr. D: Sexualizing Violence against Eve

It appears now that the trending fashion fetish is the female corpse.
No, not Miley’s image,
but the girl lying next to her in new advertising spread. In it, the models pose on a moonlit beach. Miley sits up, staring into the space, a woman behind her, while another reposes on the sand, flat on her back, hair partially obscuring her face, with the look of a stylishly dressed body in the morgue.

This following a recent cover of Entertainment Weekly, displaying the two actors of a soon-to-be released film reposed on a gurney. Ben Affleck is curled awkwardly around the woman, who is in a bra and slip, very much dead. (A tag is tied carefully around her toe).

Upon examination one learns that beautiful female corpses have become common in fashion shoots, advertising campaigns and TV shows, all with a theme of sexual and fatal violence against women. Why? To boost declining ratings, audiences, or to create new ones.
For example, here is a publication with a fashion shoot depicting a range of famous authors in the throes of killing themselves (or attempting to).

Above and at right we see model Doutzen Kroes checking every box of the objectification of the female – images of her passed out, semi-naked, etc....

Kira Cochrane called out America's NextTop Model for complicity in the trend,with an episode in which those competing were to pose as if they'd just been killed.  So here is what amounts to the fashion industry's fetishization of the female corpse. Apparently sexualizing women's passivity and silence--women posed for the camera, contorted into positions which make them look simultaneously ridiculous, weak, sexually available and highly vulnerable--is highly marketable. 

Do people want violence against women to be sexualized? There is a reason why these images are legion. If the sexualized stereotype of a woman in our culture is passive and vulnerable, the advertising industry has learned that, taken to its logical conclusion, there is nothing more appealing than a dead girl. I believe it was Pope Montini who once said, “He [Satan] is the malign, clever seducer who knows how to make his way into us through the senses, the imagination and the libido….”