plume now scratches the screen at

{Wednesday, June 09, 2004}

A. found a fashion magazine on the train. I can't remember its title - something short, like I.Q., but most likely its opposite. She was fascinated by a series of five or six double-page ads from a company whose name sounds something like "hard-core fashion", evoking fashion for "tough" people. I, too, in turn become much too absorbed by the photographs to read anything. The models are rather generic, slim girls with regular and indistinct features, all wearing elaborate beach outfits, too elaborate to call them bikinis. The girls' poses are supposed to emanate independence, self-assurance; their glances are unconcerned and detached. What makes the ad strange is that each has a bruise: one, a black eye; another a rough cut across her forehead, nearly splitting the eyelid; another's thigh has scraped skin; another displays a bruised elbow... The photographs are done in earth tones: beige, green, gold, dirty blue... except for the impeccably white bandages. And even stranger, the wounds are not properly dressed; rather, the gauze, the band-aid... are applied so as to leave the worst cut and bruise exposed to sight. I know it's all make-up, but the injuries look real. One doesn't notice them at first; the photographs look like commonplace fashion ads. Then the eye drifts towards the bright spot: the white light falling on the lacerated thigh, the useless band-aid that appears more stuck to the page than to the wound... What fascinates is the wound's irrelevance. The models behave, precisely, as if it were make-up. The ugly wounds -- and they are ugly, even explicit -- become ornaments. But they are not ornamental in the same way a tattoo is, or tribal branding: they make the impression of being random. Are we to suppose that these thin-armed girls have just waged a victorious battle, slim Amazons with spiked heels? Or are they modern-day battered wives, heroically stylish in their abuse? I know the wounds are all make-up... And yet, it seems that they are the only "real" thing here, much more real that the girls with their expressionless faces...

plumed @ 11:22 PM | 0 comments



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est. feb. 5, 2004 A.D.

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