More Sexualized Violence in Fashion


Anyone who pays much attention to the fashion world will have noticed fashion photographers have an ongoing obsession with images of women looking dead.

These images are often sexualized, with the models in various states of undress, in lingerie, or lying in provocative poses. The effect is to present violence as sexy.

Hardly a month goes by that we don’t find a new example. Here are some recent ones. They’re after the jump both because they might not be safe for your workplace (scantily-clad women, blood spatters) and because they might be triggering for some people.

New York magazine has a slideshow of images from April 2010 issues of various magazines/catalogs, including a number that present dead-looking women. Lula included a fashion shoot in which women were depicted as having died in a pillow fight (thanks to Chrissy B. for the link!):

This one is also from Lula:

AnOther ran an image in which a barely-clothed woman appears to be unable to stand on her own:

Emily W. provided us with another example; Lindsay Lohan recently appeared in a number of photographs by Tyler Shields that include sexualized violence (via):

Lohan and the photographer have angrily responded that the images are just art and people shouldn’t get so upset.

That, of course, isn’t the point. The bigger question is why photographers, artists, fashion editors, and others continue to find images of sexualized violence toward women compelling.

This post originally ran on Sociological Images. Republished with permission.

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