By Jennifer Nelson
Glamour. Cosmo. SELF. Ladies’ domestic magazine. Vogue. In an that has been in a downward spiral for years, those magazines—and different women—focused magazines like them—have not just retained their readership, they’ve elevated it. each month, 5 million-plus ladies peel again the slick hide in their favourite journal to thumb via pages jam-packed with tidings and suggestion approximately type, attractiveness, intercourse, relationships, healthy eating plan, future health, and way of life. yet do women’s magazines supply useful info, or do they in basic terms peddle fluff and fantasy—and in both case, do ladies take their messages to heart?
In Airbrushed Nation, Jennifer Nelson—a longtime insider—exposes the bare fact in the back of the sleek pages of women’s magazines, either strong and undesirable. Nelson delves deep into the area of glossies, explaining the ways that those magazines were optimistic for girls, highlighting the ways that their agendas were erroneous, and asking the questions that experience gone unasked: What do ladies imagine and think in regards to the retouched pictures, the ever present intercourse recommendation, the consistent offensive on getting older, and the fable style spreads that includes unaffordable clothes and accessories? Do the unrealistic advertisements, pictures, and beliefs that permeate glossies harm women’s vanity . . . and is it intentional?
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Here a model is pictured in a tattered reimagining of a ﬂamenco dress worn over red and white polka dotted tights for an added component of layered texture. right This black suit from the Spring/Summer 2002 collection was McQueen’s modern take on the toreador. Worn without anything underneath, the suggestive leather straps convey a hint of McQueen’s telltale dark and aggressive sexual energy, which aligns nicely with the testosterone-fuelled concept of bullﬁghting. 36 spring/summer 2002 37 alexander mcqueen Fall/Winter 2002 38 left A purple-poncho-clad model leading two wolﬁsh hounds opened McQueen’s Fall/Winter 2002 show at Paris’ La Conciergerie, the former prison of aristocrats during the French Revolution where Marie Antoinette was held before her execution.
This particular look stems from references to the rainforest, an early instance of McQueen’s fascination with the environment and man’s detrimental effect upon it. right This look from Spring/Summer 2003 updates and de-contextualizes McQueen’s penchant for historical tailoring as a Tudor-style golden satin jacket complete with ruff is worn over a rainbow tie-dye ﬂouncy chiffon skirt. The effect of this sharp, masculine military jacket teamed with the bright femininity of the skirt perhaps conjures up a vision of the genderbender shipwrecked characters of Shakespeare’s Twelfth Night.
The reference seems to balance out a collection otherwise very much steeped in the historicism of Eurasian culture. 47 fall/winter left Here the houndstooth trompe l’oeil fabric is folded into the shape of a mini-kimono, further underscoring the elements of Eastmeets-West running throughout the Fall/Winter 2003 collection. 2003 above The ﬁnale look at the Fall/Winter 2003 show was particularly exemplary of the near pyrotechnic-level of theatrics surrounding McQueen’s runway presentations. The audience gasped audibly as a model wearing a leather bodysuit hitched to a long, ﬂowing kimono-like parachute blazed down the runway in the middle of a wind tunnel.
Airbrushed Nation: The Lure and Loathing of Women's Magazines by Jennifer Nelson