Wednesday, November 27, 2013

From Chanel to Burberry, fashion is becoming a branch of the porn industry

American photographer Terry Richardson, here pictured with Canadian
model Jessica Stam, is at the centre of this pornification of the fashion world
The models pose open mouthed, their eyes half-closed as if in a state of arousal. Sometimes they lie on their backs, their legs splayed.

These adverts inevitably feature acres of exposed flesh. Not the pore-speckled, downy skin we all possess, but the hyper-airbrushed, blemish and hair-free variety - the kind that resembles the gleaming bodywork of a sleek sports car, the stuff of male fantasies.

This is standard fare from fashion advertising campaigns across the land, high-end and High Street.

As a style commentator of more than 30 years and a mother of two daughters, aged 21 and 14, I have to ask: since when did adverts for women's clothes go from being fun, frothy and often empowering to little more than pornography targeted at boys and men rather than the females who buy the products?

What message is this conveying to the generation of young girls who have grown up surrounded by such imagery? My fear is that the more we are exposed to it, the more normal it seems.

Take a recent Chanel perfume advert featuring Keira Knightley. She lies on her back wearing a trench coat and holds the perfume bottle to her famous pout, lips suggestively ajar as if she is about to lick it. In other shots she appears as if in a state of post-coital bliss. Why is this necessary?

Then there is Rosie Huntington-Whiteley, knickerless in her trench coat for a recent Burberry advert.

This isn't selling fashion. This is selling nothing except sex, and it is being sold to girls when they are at their most impressionable by an industry whose influence is titanic and goes practically unchecked.  (more...)

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