love magazine wants you to be strong, in "lingerie"
Updated: Apr 15, 2018
I saw Ashley Graham's photo from the official video of LOVE magazine's Advent Calendar on the DailyMail website this morning. You see LOVE magazine releases a "steamy" Advent Calendar shoot annually and predictably casts some of the fashion world's "hottest" stars/models to countdown to Christmas (because that makes complete sense, hotness and Christmas.. duh!). Now I'm all for freedom of expression, appreciation of sexuality, and all forms and types of beauty. We've established that in this day and age, we are all beautiful in our own way and the beauty industry has started showing the world a new era of models like Ashley Graham, Winnie Harlow, Halima Aden and Philomena Kwao, among others of course.
I hear many of the models out there among other celebrities preach power, strength and beauty all the time. However, a lot of the work some of the models and/or celebrities do seems to be sort of degrading to not only them but to other women and not only is it is degrading, but also cliche, mediocre and not groundbreaking.
Now, call me crazy but I don't understand, I just don't understand how posing in lingerie, or in tiny bikinis, bending down on all fours and staring seductively into the camera is about owning your sex appeal or about empowerment. Why label it that, just call it what it is, a sexy photo-shoot, that's okay we won't judge. Just call it sex appeal or feeling sexy, whatever it is that people might actually perceive it as. But when you do so many of these shoots and then claim "I'm doing it for all the other girls out there who look like me and don't feel sexy enough", or it's empowering women to be better or stronger because they see me in skimpy lingerie at the gym, so it's artistic and inspirational at the same time, this just becomes a cliche.
All images below are owned by LOVE magazine. This is the shoot I am referring to, they say a picture is worth a thousand words. Please let me know if t any of these thousand words include "power", "strength", "respect", "hard work","integrity", "natural beauty", "stay strong".
Yes some women have been empowered by such models and yes bringing in models that look like ordinary people is refreshing and is inspirational to some degree, but what exactly are we celebrating at this point. Who's actually undergoing the change, is it the fashion industry or the models who claim to be different and unique? Because they all end up pretty much doing the same things once they're "in".
Every time I open up Instagram, there's a picture of Emrata bending, or her backside all out and her hands feeling herself and of course she never really wears anything to cover her upper body, always pursing her lips and talking to herself in her videos and you can tell she's infatuated with herself. She always seems to be acting out an adult film on her own and not so much modeling and I assure you no art is involved. . I have un-followed her don't worry and no I am not jealous, I appreciate beauty but I don't appreciate cheapness. And so I said to myself why is she doing this all day everyday, what does she need to prove or sell? It's not like she's still trying to make it in the industry, it's not like we don't know shes beautiful and sexy. It just seems so desperate, the way she's going about it really cheapens her and the experience of her account because it seems like that's all she has to offer and it's too boring.
Then you hear her talk about freedom of body image, freedom to express and pose however she likes without being judged, who cares!?! Who on earth cares how many images Emrata posts of her naked self, who's she fighting or who's she talking to? And that's what got to me, she's saying things that younger women, especially teenagers will look to and look at and go "well, that's how I need to express myself, that's how I need to be free. Emrata wants to free the nipple and that's what I need to do too."
Don't even get me started on freeing the nipple issue.
Why on earth is absolute freedom mostly tied to stripping down?! Why, why, why?! Why don't we see these women doing more with their beauty, why don't we see them challenging beauty by challenging the way it is portrayed, in a way where it doesn't include opening your legs to a camera, spilling milkshakes down your shirt and then calling it art! You know how some people blame men for these sort of things, things like abusing women, taking advantage of their need to succeed and wanting to become famous, men in the industry who call the shots, be it directors, producers, infamous photographers and stylists? You hear some models/celebrities say "well I had to do certain things I wasn't proud of when I first started", or you'll hear something along the lines of "I had to set foot in this industry somehow"etc. Well deep down a large part of me has to ask, why did you have to sell yourself that way, why did you settle, and bet this didn't happen just once, for what? All for fame, money, power, is that your worth?
Don't you know that the things you do/did that you weren't proud of could have affected someone else out there and probably not positively, be it a guy or a girl. Don't you see you've just made it harder on the next model/celebrity coming up after you to have to deal with this crap. Because now this director, producer, infamous photographer or whoever expects and will treat the next model, actress the same way thinking he can keep getting away with it and thinking that if other women have succumbed and agreed to such degrading behavior or allowing a little less than average image of women take a platform in the limelight, then all those following should have to deal with and compromise the same things the previous model/actress has. For example, the current cases with Harvey Weinstein, such a surprise to see so many women, over 50 women open up and yet all were so quiet. Why is this so common? Why is no one questioning them too for their silence and for the power they'd given this man for so long?
The responsibility of the "victims"
Now here's the interesting part, some of these models and actors/actresses can sometimes speak up about the sexual harassment and abuse of women in the entertainment industry that they have experienced or witnessed, however they do so after they've made a name for themselves, after ten, fifteen, twenty, thirty years of being in the show business. So basically once they've achieved all success and when they know that opening up about these issues, about their mistakes will not hurt their careers, will not step on any toes that can actually hurt their reputations or careers and they're on the safe side, the side that's been used, the "victim's" side.
Which leaves me with this, yes these pedophiles, abusers, sexual predators, perverts, call them whatever you want, are at fault and are scum of this earth, I can't help but point out the plainly obvious fact that their growing power has to be credited to all these celebrities and models who kept silent so as to succeed and make it to the top. All of these people who kept silent, did so for the sake of their own good, I think that is a bit selfish don't you think? Yes maybe they were scared, maybe they didn't want to get on the bad graces of some of the most powerful men and women in Hollywood but it just goes to show that integrity , pride, self worth and self love is not at the core of these people's values and morals when it comes to success. They are set to get to fame and success and it doesn't matter how that road to fame is paved, as long as they get there. Some may call this strength, power, bravery but I would not call it any of these things.
The minute you allow a man/woman treat you in a certain way you're also automatically allowing him/her or giving them the go-ahead to try the same with other women/men. You're telling him, "it's okay to use your power and influence in this manner."
And then you see these models and actresses hailed as artists and their work becomes influential and then you have generations growing up looking up to them and idolizing them when in fact we know nothing of their true identities. We don't know who they are, what kind of decision makers they are, are they worthy of this admiration because when it was time for them to do the right things, some kept silent for their own sake, and that's just what we know, think of what we don't know. In these cases, these are not people I would admire, not women inspire to be like, or look up to.
Which brings me to this conclusion, we should then stick to one thing and one thing only when we talk about such celebrities/models, and that is to think of them as "entertainers". They are just entertainers and anything they preach should not be believed or taken to heart, only that they entertain and work in the entertainment industry. This is a generalization.. yes!! But it is one we now need to keep in place because we have realized that we don't know these people and we don't know much about their own personal lives. So while it may be okay to like their outfits and their films, admiring their personalities or trying to copy how they talk or think is a completely different matter and should be considered very very carefully.