This is a Story of a Girl, Who Twirls in Dresses Before Changing into Her Basketball Shoes

 

Bow till the day I die #Baller #ShotCaller #iDefySteroetypes #OrDoI #JustDoIt

Bow till the day I die #Baller #ShotCaller #iDefySteroetypes #OrDoI #JustDoIt #HumanRightsSelfie

I am a girl. I never wear jeans, only dresses. I have an expansive collection of bows, and I paint my nails every three days. I have become a master of winged eyeliner, and the perfect way to curl eyelashes. I love shopping and drinking soy chai lattes. I can also sing even single Taylor Swift song to you by heart. 

I also play basketball. 

I don’t just play, I am great at basketball. I am what you call a beast. I have played basketball longer than I have worn make-up. I have mastered the art of never missing a lay-up and I can sit in a defensive stance for a very, very long time. I have ran baseline to baseline and back in under 12 seconds since I was twelve. 

I defy my girlie stereotype 

but

I will never earn as much as LeBron James 

No woman in the WNBA will earn as much as LeBron James, even though they practice for the same amount of hours.

Under Article 2: Everyone is entitled to all the rights and freedoms set forth in this Declaration, without distinction of any kind, such as race, colour, sex, language, religion, political or other opinion, national or social origin, property, birth or other status. Furthermore, no distinction shall be made on the basis of the political, jurisdictional or international status of the country or territory to which a person belongs, whether it be independent, trust, non-self-governing or under any other limitation of sovereignty.

I am allowed to play a “mans” sport and because of article 23: Everyone, without any discrimination, has the right to equal pay for equal work[1]

Every professional basketball player, man or woman, should be paid equally, but that is not the case. 

As a collegiate basketball player I receive an athletic scholarship, but even at my level my award will not be as large as an award given to someone on the Man’s basketball team.

In a speech delivered by UN women deputy executive director Lakshmi Puri explains

“Yet socially accepted ways of what it means to be a man or a woman continue to play an important role in determining access and levels of participation, both in the stadium and in the structures of the sport movement itself. This is a reflection of deeply entrenched gender norms and stereotypes about masculinity and femininity: women should be gentle and caring; men should be strong and unemotional … football is for boys, dance is for girls.

These gender stereotypes are restrictive and harmful to men and women alike because they prevent individuals from fulfilling their potential and realizing their dreams. In my own country of India, women and girls find themselves doubly disadvantaged, as often not enough value is placed on sport activities for boys — let alone for girls.
Every step taken to challenge these stereotypes is one step forward in the promotion of gender equality” [2]

I am lucky to be a girl in the United State. I have the opportunity to play college basketball, where little girls in other countries might not even know to dream that for themselves. I would never dream of begin paid as much as LeBron James, if I were to play professional basketball. There is still obvious challenges that women in the sports world have to conquer for gender equality, one selfie at a time.  

Create your own gender-defying “selfie”

1) Take a picture of yourself defying gender norms

2) See which Human Rights article you are demonstrating

3) Share and upload your selfie #InstaBaby

4) Explain in caption how you defy gender sterotypes based on the Articles you a protected under

5) Share away, and change the world

 

 

Do you think male and female professional athletes should be paid equally?

Does the best female athlete in the WNBA earn as much as the worst male athlete in the NBA?

Are women paid equally in any field?

 

Comment and share your selfies below! 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Resources 

[1] http://www.un.org/en/documents/udhr/

[2] http://www.unwomen.org/en/news/stories/2012/2/women-in-the-world-of-sports

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Cindy Sherman and a Bunch of Nameless Women

“‘The work is what it is and hopefully it’s seen as feminist work, or feminist-advised work,’ says Cindy Sherman about her art, “but I’m not going to go around espousing theoretical bullshit about feminist stuff.” But feminists were eager to claim her, inspired by her photographs that were not self-portraits but spoke of gender, identity and power” [2]

Cindy Sherman, born in 1954, is an American photographer. Sherman’s interest in art began when she received a book called “One Hundred and One Beautiful Paintings”. Sherman then went on to college where she studied and experimented with different art forms. It was in college where she was introduced to conceptual art, which Sherman is best known for. Conceptual art is idea or concept based. The idea is the most important part of the work presented. The idea makes the art. With her growing knowledge and talent of art and photography Sherman began taking photos of herself (self-portraits) as different characters, primarily stereotypical images of how society views women: actresses, housewives, prostitutes. This beginning in Sherman’s career has lead her and several series of her work to question the roles and representation of women in society [1].

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Part of the draw and reason for her popularity is that Sherman’s work is bold and innovative. The portraits are stunning, shocking and make the viewer question what the work is saying. There is also the mystery of Cindy Sherman herself, as she is the model in her “self portraits” we as viewers have no idea what she actually looks like, we only see the character being portrayed. This element as well as naming all of her photographs “Untitled” gives the photographs a blank slate for the viewers to examine the work without any external influence, and shows how women are truly represented in society, stereotyped and untitled [1]. In congruence with the questioning of societal roles of women the portraits are demonstrating there is also the idea that with photography, comes an element of fiction. It raises the question of what is real and what is not.

picture 5 picture 4 picture 2 picture 1

This is the case for Sherman’s “Untitled #355”.In a post by Maika Pollack on the website Gallerist Ny called “Pictures of You: Cindy Sherman at the Museum of Modern Art” writes of Sherman:

“She hit her stride in 2000, by which time, like a great actor, she knew every angle of her chin and nose and every trick of makeup and wig. Her virtuosic head shots series gives us Ms. Sherman in the zone. Like the film stills, they draw on the viewer to constellate clichés into a feeling of déjà vu, yet these dig deeper: these images of women have a starkness and power to discomfit” [4]

Untitled #355

Untitled #355

Like Pollack stated of Sherman’s work the woman in this photograph draws a discomfort when looking at it. The woman in the photograph has been called “the gothic biker stripper” three very different subject put into one title like the photograph, it is purposefully uncomfortable. The way the photograph is staged we get a sense of who the woman in the photograph is and what she represents in society. The way she is sitting is masculine, she is not smiling and the clothing she is wearing all contrast each other. There is also a darkness in this picture, not so much visually, but an eery tone, probably created by the doll like staging of the woman. Sherman is forcing the viewers to accept the woman in the photo as a real person, overall commenting on how audiences view her, mostly with confusion. It is the way society views the woman in the photograph that speaks to what Sherman represents to the feminist community. In a book by Eleanor Heartney she explains that Sherman is important in the “studies of the decentered self, the mass media’s reconstruction of reality, the inescapably of the male gaze, the seductions of abjection, and any number of related philosophical issues” [2]. This photograph takes what is considered beautiful and ugly, feminine and masculine to society and demonstrates all aspects, giving the viewer an opportunity to question the ideals of society, how women are judged from culture to culture, and what is it is like to be a modern socially acceptable woman today. 

Feminists examine social roles of women to further understand and cause change in gender inequality. The feminist theory was created during the feminist movements throughout history. The first women’s rights movement in the United States of America was in 1848, where a Declaration of Sentiments was signed. This declaration called for equal treatment of women and men under the law and voting rights for women in Seneca Falls, New York. Since then there has been major feminist movements all in the name of equality for men and women [3]. With these movements many feminists have adopted artist, authors, and photographers as leaders in the feminist movement, Cindy Sherman being one of them. As her photographs, including “Untitled #355”, prove even now women’s rights are still a sociological issue yearning equality and change.

 

 

 

 

Works Cited

[1] Comelissen, Tahnee, Jake Henderiekx, and Lieselot Geeraert. “Copy of Cindy Sherman.” Prezi.com. N.p., 24 Mar. 2014.

[2] Heartney, Eleanor. “Cindy Sherman: The Polemics of Play.” After the Revolution: Women Who Transformed Contemporary Art. New York, NY: Prestel, 2007. Print.

[3] Infoplease. Infoplease, n.d. Web. 14 July 2014

[4] Pollack, Maika. “Pictures of You: Cindy Sherman at the Museum of Modern Art.” Gallerist. N.p., 6 Mar. 2012.

 

Catwalk Revolution: Protecting the Faces of the Fashion Industry

Fashion sometimes is seen as frivolous and silly, an expensive business for the sake of glamour, but it is this idea that encourages a dismissive attitude towards the models, allowing the abuse of vulnerable young people to persist. In the fashion industry one day you’re in and the next day you’re out. It is this reality that keeps the models quiet in an industry that is tainted with dirty little secrets. Even more than eating disorders, which often takes the forefront in issues having to do with fashion models, is the sexual abuse at castings, photo shoots, and runway shows that is the industry’s real secret. I am not apart of the fashion industry, but I respect it and have a love for it that makes this issue relevant to me and my life.

siberian_supermodels07

Sexual harassment and abuse are problems in every industry, and sadly, modeling is no exception. Any young model who is the subject of unwanted and/or unlawful attention in the workplace should have somewhere to turn for safe, private, and helpful advice

Sara Ziff,  model, founder, and director of the Model Alliance has said for too long, there has been a myopic disregard for the modeling industry’s systemic abuses of it’s workforce.  While I have been very fortunate in my modeling career, I have also seen firsthand how the industry often disregards child labor law, lacks financial transparency, encourages eating disorders, and blindly tolerates sexual abuse in the workplace. The lucrative careers of high-profile supermodels misrepresent the reality for most working models, who are young, mostly female, and uniquely vulnerable.” [3]

piechart1

This chart represents the ages in which girls begin their modeling careers. Ages which should be protected by guardians and child labor laws, but in most cases are not.

Ziff accounts “in an industry where the majority of models start their careers before age 16, most working un-chaperoned and far from home, the incentive to say nothing in order to keep your job creates an unconscionable environment of coercion” [3]

  • 29.7% of models have experienced inappropriate touching on the job
  • 28% of models have felt pressure to have sex with someone at work
  • 29% who have been sexually harassed at work felt they could tell their agency, but only 2/3 of that 29% found their agents did not see the problem
  • 60.5% of the models say their lack of privacy while changing clothes is a major concern
  • 86.8% of models have been asked to change nude at a job or casting without notice
  • of that 86.8% 46.4% posed nude anyway because they were okay with it and 27.5% of that 86.8% posed nude because they felt they had to even though they didn’t want to [2]

Sexual abuse in the business occur at both end of the modeling spectrum, the lowest and the highest levels of the industry, but because models are considered to be “independent contractors”, the rule of law in terms of workplace standards does not exist. [3]

Kate Moss photographed in 1992

Kate Moss was only sixteen when she did her first topless shoot. Moss in an interview with Vanity Fair said of the people on set “they were like: If you don’t do it, then we’re not going to book you again. So I’d lock myself in the toilet and cry and then come out and do it. I never felt very comfortable about it”[1]

In 2008, fashion designer Anand Jon was found guilty of rape and multiple counts of assault on models, whose ages ranged from 14 to 21 years old. In November 2010, an aspiring male model sued a noted stylist for alleged sexual harassment.

Last year, models began to speak out in numbers against Terry Richardson, one of the industries most successful and powerful photographers, who has been accused of pressuring models to disrobe at castings and conducting shoots that involve what he claims are consensual sex acts performed on him by models. (Among Richardson’s regular clients are H&M, Vogue, and GQ.) [3]

showbiz_lindsay_lohan_gun_2

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A few of Richardson’s most controversial potographs

In an effort to stop the abuse of models in the fashion industry, Sara Ziff created the Model Alliance,  she states that “to combat this systemic abuse, I recently formed the Model Alliance, a nonprofit organization that aims to give models in the American fashion business a voice. With the support of other top models (Coco Rocha, Doutzen Kroes, Crystal Renn, Shalom Harlow), industry leaders, and the Fashion Law Institute at Fordham Law School to demand fair treatment from modeling agencies and clients.” [2]

Model-Alliance

The five contributors and organizers of the organization:

  • Sara Ziff
  • Coco Rocha
  • Susan Scafidi
  • Dorian Warren
  • Doreen Small

The Model Alliance is working hard to protect the rights of the models in the fashion business. As a result the Model Alliance has formed a 2013 initiative concerning child labor, backstage privacy, Model Alliance support, and finally the Models’ Bill of Rights, a Bill of Rights to empower models to demand fair treatment from modeling agencies and clients. [2]

With the help of Ziff and her organization models voices are being heard. Models deserve fair treatment in their workplace, and the Model Alliance aims to establish ethical standards that bring real and lasting change to the fashion industry as a whole, encouraging a safe and healthy work environment that protects models’ mental and physical wellbeing. [2]

happy models yo

 

 

LINKS:

http://jezebel.com/5494634/meet-terry-richardson-the-worlds-most-fked-up-fashion-photographer

http://meghanward.com/blog/2011/12/15/models-and-sexual-abuse/

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=P1xOirJEwpY

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bmFhOLGL204

RESOURCES:

[1] Saner, Emine. “Was Kate Moss Exploited as a Young Model?” The Guardian. Guardian News and  Media, 01 Nov. 2012. Web. 30 June 2014.

[2] “Unwelcome Sexual Advances, Requests for Sexual Favors, and Other Verbal or Physical Conduct of a Sexual Nature…” The Model Alliance.

[3] Ziff, Sara. “The Ugly Truth of Fashion’s Model Behaviour.” Theguardian.com. Guardian News and   Media, 13 Feb. 2012.