Whitney Jefferson of Buzzfeed gets it wrong.

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I was of two minds about even linking this, but here are my thoughts:

Yes, this is a collection of ridiculous, dated photos. Glamour Shots and it's ilk had/have some very silly things going on. As a photographer who really strives to capture my subjects in the best possible way, this hurts my aesthetic sensibilities.

And yet, the mockery of the photos was also a mockery of the women in them. I don't know them, maybe some of them are/were genuinely mock-worthy people. But neither do the people doing the mocking. It may be just a random collection of silly pictures to them, but each one is a photo of an individual woman, who may very see this (or someone who knows her might.) What did they do that deserved to be mocked? Try to live up to society's demand for feminine beauty...for glamour...and fail. Shame! Point them out and let them know how stupid they look.

This collection is mean-spirited and cruel. I'll bet many of the women (and girls) in those photos went to have their portraits taken so they could look at the image and feel pretty, something that the world around them went out of its way to deny them on a regular basis. If your beauty doesn't completely conform to the basis of what society is celebrating that minute, someone is always going to tell you how you need to improve. You hair is too flat, too mousy. You need to lose a few pounds. Your boobs should be bigger. Your teeth are crooked. You're too old.

So you go to the place that promises to make you look like a model. They do your hair, they do your makeup, they give you something to wear. They make sure you have fun. Now, the photo stores in the mall probably aren't employing the best hair and make-up people, the top-notch photographers. They are hiring folks for a little bit above minimum wage and then instructing them to sell, sell, and up-sell. They get a small wardrobe to work with, and a set of poses they like (it saves a lot of time). Which means you get some silly end results. But I'll bet that most of the women looked at the photo they got and felt happy, felt pretty, even if just for a little while. Until society started reminding them how much they fail at looking like an ideal. How plain, how fat, how old, how silly.

And then we come along, a decade or so later, to point and laugh at their aspirations to glamour.

Good job, internet. Good job.

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This page contains a single entry by Kayjayoh published on April 16, 2012 7:03 PM.

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