Thursday, July 24, 2008

In Other Blogs...

Continuing on the theme of brown people as props in ads and editorials  is this truly excellent post on hipster racism in Nylon Magazine published at Threadbared. Below is short excerpt but do yourself a favor and check out the full post. It is extremely well-written and thought provoking. On a side note, does this image reminds anyone else of those old Baby Phat ads that featured Kimora Lee Simmons surround by housekeepers and nannies?

There's much to be said about Beth Ditto, fat and fashion, but the above photograph from Ditto's eight-page editorial in NYLON's recent music issue is about none of these things for me. It's about the woman who may or may not be a real housekeeper at the motel at 
which this editorial was photographed, sitting on the edge of the bed with a handful of cards and gazing at Ditto with a weary but guarded expression. In the story that coalesces for me, studying this photograph, she has just been forced to play cards with a guest -- not because she wants to, but because she could lose her job if she doesn't. Nor does the game even feel like a break from her domestic labor; this sort of affective labor is no less taxing. In her mind (in the story I imagine about this editorial), she calculates how much longer she'll have to stay and clean in order to meet her day's quota.

4 comments:

Shaymer said...

Thanks for this link Brigitte. This is too much for my little noggin on a Friday morning! Nevertheless, here are my thoughts. I felt extremely uncomfortable upon my initial glance at this image. The author sums up the feelings I was unable to express perfectly. The Asian influences in this photo only exist as a prop for the pale detached model and to applaud the old colonial power structure. This image is so distasteful. One amusing aspect of this photo is that I find the maid to be far more beautiful than the featured model!

Anonymous said...

I have browsed through a hipster/alternative fashion magazine or two before and they always made me feel discomfort because they always seemed to be even more racist than people believe Vogue magazine to be. I thought that I was just being to sensitive about the whole subject of race but I am noticing more and more blogs that are exposing these mags for what they truly are. In a weird way I am glad to know that there wasn't any overreaction on my part.

Ann da Panda said...

This is terrible and degrading. I feel the same way as anonymous said about the hipster magazines. Vice is just as terrible.

threadbared said...

Thanks so much for linking my entry, and I'm glad you got something out of it (I don't want to say "enjoyed" it, since it's kind of a big bummer)!