Wednesday, April 2, 2008

in contemplation

The editorial that launched a thousand words. Daria's recent editorial from Vogue Hommes has caused one of the biggest discussions over any of her editorials that I've seen. Usually the words being read are "sexy! Daria's so hot!" or the polar opposite "How disappointing, she is being used as a sex object". For me, I think I strike the middle ground. So for this muse, I'll just talk about some perceptions I've heard - and what I think about them

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Sexual Chemistry
A frequent number of people have commented on the fact that the editorial is without emotion and feeling (like Daria and Andres are two, not one). Yet, this editorial to me is full of emotions, not necessarily the typical that you would first think of love. It's almost as if the two are in violent pain because of the love they feel for each other, shown by their distorted bodies. Daria clinging to Andres with helplessness and vulnerability are all emotions that people feel when they are in love. It's seems as if the energy is so strong that it forces Daria to be contorted and handled roughly. All of their poses seem to have some sort of fusion of the body - with all of their shots together they are both clinging to each other, intertwined in some sort of way.

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So, when "no emotion" is stated - I feel that as somewhat of a lie. The other idea would be to do fake smiles and hugs and kisses, but this is not all love is. Love can be an amogaly of emotions, from feelings of being so in love it is like pain

Accessories and the Woman's Role
From a woman's point of view (my own) I can not say that this editorial offends me. Despite the fact that it's been lessened because of the woman's supposed role as an "accessory" you have to take a closer look at the composition's and gazes of both Daria and Andres. One of my favourite photos is the one of Daria and Andres lying down. Daria has that strong sexual look and you notice that she is looking at the camera, almost ignoring Andres, while the male model looks on. In all of the photos together Andres is looking wistfully at Daria, almost worshipping her as much as she to him.

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And in reality - this is fashion. Things aren't meant to be politically correct or appeal to the average reader. I think this photo shoot was more about challenging the reader's mind then it was to appealing them. And consider that this is Vogue Hommes - it's main market is not mainstream but rather the darker side of art. And this was the erotic issue

Why is there such a big complaint over Daria being nude? I've yet to hear mention of the fact that the male model is nude as well... saying that nudity is sexist or degrading is a bit sexist in itself. If anything Daria elevates herself in this editorial because she chooses to show off her body with confidence not embarrasment. Why do people label nudity as such a sin, when it is a part of every person? I'm sure that Daria has the mentality by now to choose work that she would like to do, not that she is forced into. Nudity is not sin, but salvation of it being labeled as the ultimate evil.

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However, maybe overanalyzing this shoot makes it lose some of it's effects. Maybe these pictures are just about being visually stunning, with two gorgeous people at a gorgeous location. These were more musings of mine than they were a critique. To me, this is still a beautiful editorial and one of Daria's best.


  1. I personally think these pictures are great and very sexy. There's not much I can say. I don't really think she's being used as a sex object. When people get intimate, they're usually nude. Art imitates life (or it's the other way around). I think people sometimes take things too seriously--especially fashion.

  2. "When people get intimate, they're usually nude". very true. so why is the guy wearing jeans?
    anyway, ultimately i don't think it's a matter of sexism, it's more a matter of poor imaginary (beach, wearing only a bra, low imitation of passion, jeans sterotypes...) against the strenght of daria's performance.
    and about fashion, i think it's fashion that takes itself too seriously. and the problem is that ppl interpretes fashion - and fashion models - as the maximum of style and beauty, when it's really more to do with kitsch.

  3. ^ But in other shots Daria is wearing a bra - and it is a jeans he has to be wearing something
    think of the countless times men have been used in ads and editorials naked or as objects (dolce&gabbana)

  4. re: "When people get intimate, they're usually nude."
    aside from agreeing with eword, the more important point is that there doesnt seem to be any intimacy, that might be what the biggest disappointment is, that the ed, on a whole, is a failure because while its trying to portray being IN LOVE, whatever it is, with each other, with the jeans, there is no real connection. in turn, having her naked, and he in jeans, or both naked together, what have you, there is a collapse in what the thing means to do. that may be why ppl have a problem with her nudity, because it isnt really saying much in terms of intimacy.

  5. re: "All of their poses seem to have some sort of fusion of the body - with all of their shots together they are both clinging to each other, intertwined in some sort of way."

    the poses looked CONTRIVED, as if they were told what to do. daria's so great at just being natural and letting that tell a story, but she doesnt seem at ease here. it doesnt seem she is doing what she does best, so though there is an attempt to portray that emotions linked to being in love, i dont think it comes through as real or natural.
    no one is saying that they need "to do fake smiles and hugs and kisses" because you're right, "this is not all love is." but in trying to depict the other side of hugs and kisses, it doesnt come through.

    i dont find the nudity offensive for nudity's sake, the fact that she is used as an "accessory" is a shame because she is much more than that and could have brought a lot more to this shoot. nudity is NOT a sin, but there is also something to be said about how one wishes to expose it.

  6. do you think that if the two were both nude it would have been a better portrayal of love?

  7. When I first saw this I didn't feel any "intense" chemistry between the two. I think this editorial was suppose to exude sexy people.