Friday, October 26, 2012

The Mysterious Victorian Tattooed Women

As I was researching different extreme fashions, I stumbled upon this photo:

While I had heard of Victorian women getting tattooed before, I had never seen any physical evidence of that trend until I found Maud Wagner. 

But Maud was not the only one getting her whole body tattooed, apparently it was trendy and in-fashion for upper class women to "collect" tattoos.

It is amazing that through such a repressive society, photographs like this exist. One would think that even if it were a trend, women would never be allowed to pose for photographs revealing so much skin, especially if it were covered in tattoos.

My theory is that women used tattooing as a way to re-claim their bodies for themselves. Society and men in powerful positions continually forced them to wear restrictive clothing that was unbearably uncomfortable and kept them from being able to engage in activities. Besides that, items like the corset, were extremely detrimental to women's health and put dangerous pressure on vital organs.

The other aspect of tattooing is its highly erotic and sexual quality. Everything about a tattoo is sexual from the pleasure received from the pain of getting the tattoo to the eroticism of a women's naked flesh with a secret tattoo, hidden, only revealed in sexual acts.

I want to explore how this trend of tattooing came to be regarded as something acceptable for upper class women in such a tight laced society.

Friday, October 19, 2012

Fashion x Gender Studies?

I am struggling a bit with honing in on my topic for the last paper. I know I want to write about fashion and possibly gender studies but I am not sure about an "issue" or "problem" I can discuss.

I am working with ideas of gender roles throughout history and its connection to women's fashion trends.

I was thinking on focusing on extreme fashion trends that cause health problems and even disfiguration such as footbinding, corsets, and stiletto heels.

Besides serious health consequences, many of these fashions also made women immobile, fragile, and left women helpless on their own.

I also wanted to explore the fetishes associated with these fashions and the sexual undertones.

Maybe I could write about Fashion and Health or Fashion and Psychology? I am just worried I do not know anything about Health or Psychology....

Well for now, enjoy these fabulous photos of extreme fashion.

Christian Louboutin's extreme ballet shoes

A Victorian Corset

Ancient Chinese "Lotus" shoes-- the foot would be deformed to fit into these shoes

Monday, October 15, 2012

Tilted Arc: An Enemy of the State?

Ok, so its not the most aesthetically pleasing work of art to ever be displayed, but with the comments made by representatives of the government, one would think it was a bonafide enemy of America.

The Safety Division of the GSA even said the sculpture created “a blast wall effect- comparable to devices which are used to vent explosive forces. This one could vent an explosion both upward and on an angle toward both buildings."

The removal of Tilted Arc could have been handled much more gracefully without the government condemning the work of a great American artist.