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Goldsmiths' Official Student Magazine

Ass or Art?

10 December 2014
 Sammie Hayward explores the fusion of Art, Fashion and Ass in that magazine shoot, asking the question ‘when did we become so obsessed, and why do we still care’? Paper’s back side shoot featuring Kim Kardashian must be the most talked about thing of the year. It’s all anyone seems capable of talking about, and…

 Sammie Hayward explores the fusion of Art, Fashion and Ass in that magazine shoot, asking the question when did we become so obsessed, and why do we still care’?

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Paper’s back side shoot featuring Kim Kardashian must be the most talked about thing of the year. It’s all anyone seems capable of talking about, and while I hate the whole concept of a woman whose whole career is built on her is-it-real-or-fake ‘junk’, it does throw up some interesting questions. Questions like: what the hell is this world coming to, and, why do we keep eluding to these supernatural ‘ideal’ body shapes? Why do we keep living in a world where people want to be famous for being famous, aspiring for red carpet glory over academic acclaim? I feel like there’s something drastically wrong with our Truman show society – we all know it’s a bit fucked up. Yet, we actually do realise where we are going wrong ,and then still do nothing. Instead, we just allow ourselves to be sucked into the faux-reality vacuum.

The reason that we do nothing to change the way the industry portrays women is because people have come to expect a certain level of beauty, (the commercial idea of beauty anyway). Another reason being money; the root of most problems, and something that no one in this multi-billion dollar industry is willing to risk.

Time and time again the topic of how women are depicted in the media comes up, rearing its ugly head with every single new campaign featuring a doe-eyed stick figure, with a bone structure that we mere mortals could only achieve through strenuously sucking in our cheeks or changing our genetics. This is the problem: people, especially young girls, will go to extraordinary lengths to be like them. People keep mumbling about change and campaigning for more diversity…yet, nothing really ever changes. I think that we as a society need to rewire how we perceive these images because it doesn’t’t look like any obvious change is going to come from anywhere else.

However, maybe the real problem perhaps isn’t with these indulgent shoots being taken, printed and globally shoved down our necks on a daily basis. The real issue lies in how we view these images. When we see these campaigns and see their perfectly photoshopped bodies, we see them as portraying an image of how we should look, and how little we should weigh when really we should be viewing it simply as art; as a beautiful thing, but not a realistic interpretation of what a woman (or man) should look like. After all, photography and fashion both stem from an artistic form of expression. The two coming together should be seen as a fusion of art, a different way of appreciating something that is beautiful rather then treating it as to beauty aspiration.

If we could get to that point, then maybe it would put an end to all this body shaming that seems to have taken over the world quicker than Kim and Kris’s divorce. Almost as soon as the Kim K cover came out, (I should say magazine really, there is actually one attached you know), there came an explosion of ‘real’ pre Photoshop versions or the ‘original’ photos and Kim K’s ‘real’ figure was revealed! – supposedly. Who knows whether these photos are real or fake? Do we really still care that much?

And this readers, this is where my theory works perfectly because, whatever photoshopping did or did not go on, we should merely just view it as piece of art, an ironic symbol of our famous for being famous culture.