We have a bathroom (or course we have). But we call our’s “The Reading Room”. Bit of a joke, a bit of a nod to the reality that when someone sits on the “throne” there is reading material to fill time whilst relaxing.
I like to think that anyone who visits our home and uses the bathroom might partake of the books, magazines and even catalogues we have stored near the “comfy seat”.
I have a stash of Viz magazines out of reach of our daughter, but the rest are factual books full of interesting nuggets, comics, clothing catalogues, even an October 2013 Radio Times – which appears to be immune to the usual sweep of change. Probably because Doctor Who is on the cover.
Whilst “relaxing” the other day I noticed the back of a catalogue. (This has now occupied more of my thinking over the last week than it should have). It was a women’s clothing catalogue.
The second time I was sat there I picked up the catalogue for a closer look. Then I studied it. Close up, (in the end using a jeweller’s loupe).
Why so interesting? Have I found the the underwear section? Is it a bikini catalogue?
It’s a shoe advert.
There is a pair of sandals on a pair of feet. below there are 6 identical feet in 6 slightly different sandals. IDENTICAL!
Looking close, I thought, “those feet are perfect!”. But this is the fascination: They are too perfect.
Studying them with high magnification equipment, THEY WERE PERFECT:
– no hair at all
– no pores
– no wrinkles of any kind
– no ankle bones sticking out (allowing them to function)
– no veins (feeding blood to the muscles)
– no changes of skin colour at all over the entire area of skin
– no change to the reflective nature of the skin from mid shin to tip of toes
– the nail polish was perfect – no scratches, no missing polish, no matt areas
So rather than think “make up” or “photoshop”, I can only conclude “3d cgi model”.
These are more 3D Studio Max or blender.org than model/ makeup/ photographer/ photoshop.
So this is the way we are going. We are already committed to this in childrens’ animation. Who makes kids films without 3D modelling these days? Studio Ghibli is losing the battle and they have to use computers to model buildings and structures. Frozen, Brave, Tangled etc.
So, we prefer the perfection (and cheapness) of not using real people.
I watched a documentary called “Good Hair” by Chris Rock.
He investigated black women’s hair. FIND THIS AND WATCH IT AS SOON AS POSSIBLE!
Currently we scream against the advertising world using perfect women who are way too thin, photoshopped and altered.
For black women, the story goes a long way back. For as long as advertising has been in magazines, cinemas, TV or billboards, the perfect woman has straight hair. Often blonde, but rarely afro curl.
Even now, in these illuminated times, the “perfect” black woman has straight hair.
And so black women straighten their hair with dangerous chemicals and even more bizarrely, they buy hair from India and have it woven into their plaited and hidden hair as a “weave”. These cost thousands and once done, cannot be washed, taken out or touched. Get great looking hair – then refuse to let anyone touch it.
So where does “artificial models for clothing” take us? We have managed to take the impossible aspirations of women and make them completely unrealistic. No one can live up to the perfection of a CGI model. They can be as pale, tanned, thin, tall or wide eyed as the human mind will tolerate.
The feet on the back of the catalogue in the bathroom are more dangerous than you think. They have silently entered the world of women’s aspirations. Without anyone saying “hang on they aren’t real” some woman somewhere will look at those and think “My feet aren’t as perfect as that”.