i just saw this video and article and was immediately struck how there is a push to make women powerless victims of their environments.

EDIT HERE!  here is the explanation by the designer from her website.  i think it is appropriate to the discussion to read her own words instead of the interpretation in the linked article:


Just being human is not good enough anymore nor has it ever been. What is very clear is that people are not satisfied with what they were naturally born with. Neither the prehistoric cave dweller nor modern man has ever considered the human body aesthetically satisfactory. It is human nature to want to be more than what we are, and from the beginning of time we have gone to extreme measures to express on the outside how we desire to be perceived. On the surface, we are physically turning into ideal dream versions of ourselves. Being born a certain way is no longer a life sentence. We can choose exactly who we want to be. What are the possibilities of this new God-like control we have over our bodies?

Right now you can truly become more than just yourself, more than human. It’s almost as if we have shifted from reality into fantasy. The sky is the limit when it comes to controlling our own image. Being online is considered a trusted version of yourself. We are behaving as if we have robotic extensions and we can now generate body parts and also have access to the technology to obtain super powers. We now have complete power over our own image and abilities. What is currently being done and where might these God-like powers potentially lead?

PDF of thesis upon request.

this video is so disturbing - in the claim of "art" - the woman is made helpless.

why do i keep thinking of republicans when i see this...

you decide.

here is the article and here is the video.

what the hell is going on?  is the regression to the days where women were simply appendages, pawns for the whims of men really happening?

i grew up in the days of betty freidan, feminism, empowerment, sexual freedom, acknowledgement that i was more than a "baby factory", that i had dreams and goals and the right to go after them.

how can ANY person justify that crippling vision in the "design" of "shoes".

my generation cast off the pointed toe crippling heels that shortened the achilles tendon, balanced us precariously on stilts, caused deformities in our feet.  yet, today, the spikey, stilleto heel is more obscene than ever.

and, yes, i DID wear heels - high ones - and could run a city block in four strides in those 4 inchers - but as most of my generation did, we realized that those shoes were created by men who never wore them - and our feet finally told us being able to WALK, RUN, and be pain free was more important than the latest madison avenue gimmick.

okay - so, the shoes are more extreme today - but not to the point of making a woman walk like someone who has been beaten into submission - like someone who is incapable of escaping harm - who is subjected to creeping and crawling along with the need of someone to "rescue" her if danger occurs.

that video cleverly edits the model putting on the second "shoe" - why?  because the design is such that the model was at serious risk of injury if she tried to do that alone.  

i am disturbed.  i am VERY disturbed by that video.  it is a mutilation of identity and gender in an exterior manner.

women need to wake up to realize that we are facing a serious attack on our independence and our very existence (except in how many babies we can push out with no consideration for our health or safety).

this is yet another reason to push back on the republican war on women - the growing movement to diminish women and our roles in society.  

what do YOU think?  am i over reacting?

don't think so!

4:18 PM PT: The comments in the diary rightly point out that the designer in question was trying to "make a point".  i believe i now know why this "point" was missed.  taking the first paragraph of the article i linked (and where i saw the video), the paragraph is talking about "shoes" - not about political statements being made by a design artist who chose shoes as a tool.

unfortunately, all the way around, this message by the artist is lost - it is obscured by the disturbing nature of the video.  as i said in a comment below, when you have to explain your art, your message is lost.

this project was the thesis for this young designer.  on her website, this paragraph explains more of what she was trying to accomplish.

The project Scary beautiful was nominated for the Gerrit Rietveld design prize. Here follows the Jury report of jury members Barbara Visser, visual artist and Xander Karskens, curator of De Hallen :

"The object created by Leanie expands the concept of a shoe into multiple new meanings. The beautifully made leather object is accompanied by a video registration of a girl wearing it. One observes the design forcing the wearer to develop a new way of walking, leaning forward while refining a painfully fragile balance. The jury applauds the way aesthetics, ergonomics and prosthesis merge into an awkward choreography. The craftsmanship and strong conceptual way of designing also show in another work, a ceramic tea set in which reference is made to a building in South Africa. Leanie succeeds in translating political consciousness into form and is considered by the jury to be a meaningful future designer."

it is unfortunate that the video has usurped her message.  for the reasons i've outlined above, i still feel like she has not succeeded in her intended purpose.  that is unfortunate.

4:37 PM PT: okay - good comments have made me re-think.  this designer has opened dialogue that has extended beyond the distortions of fashion and into the political arena as she intended.  

my new verdict: in spite of the yahoo presentation, she has succeeded!

let the conversation continue!  (while i crash back out - trying to knock the last of this bug off - so forgive my absence for a bit).


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