Mags Loves Jimi

“They thought I was a Surrealist, but I wasn't. I never painted dreams. I painted my own reality.” ― Frida Kahlo

Month: November, 2015

# Untitled 35 (Youth)

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When we were young

Our bodies –

                                     Alchemised

Fertilised

                                      Strategised.

Loose lips.

Full hips – quiff

(Just the head,

Tip of conscious.)

“But fucking ain’t conscious.”

And conscious ain’t freedom

(Until it’s shunned).

When we were young.

Masculinity, and the Male Model stereotype 

male models

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By Margetta Sowah
Twitter – @bohomags


Men are often seen as the bread winners, taste-makers, and hunter extraordinaire. They are at the top of the food chain but also stand at the bottom of the pecking order… a contradiction in terms? You could say that. What it comes down to is constructive sympathy for our male counterparts to icons like Gisele, Kate, Naomi and Cara.

Overlooked and objectified 

The male model has often been a misplaced mark on the bullseye of beautification. When researching this topic the public opinion was obvious – we don’t value male models. Yes the Fashion industry advocates male modeling as an occupation but that does not guarantee equal representation.

Public perception of male models (MANdels, if you will) is not one of admiration. When I typed into Google ‘are male models…’ the first four suggestions were; attractivestupidinsecurephotoshopped? Are male models seen as stupid or is that just par for the course? Should we feel sorry for those who fall under scrutiny? Articles such as: ‘Why no one should ever date a male model’, ‘Does every male model have to be a dumb blonde,’ and ‘I’d rather date a tree than a male model’ show a comical attitude towards Fashion’s pretty boys. Sigh. Apart from Elite Daily ruining my Dendrophile fantasies (clearly joking), most of us assume male models are stupid, narcissistic, have substance abuse problems and, though I never really understood the correlation, are blessed with huge… Christmas stockings #jiggleballs.

Shouldn’t we have the same attitude of acceptance as we do females who model, or at least try to? The problem of objectification goes both ways with the only difference in this case being the power of capitalism. Truth is no one wants to buy a magazine with a half naked man on the cover unless he is a celebrity, sportsman or has an alternative lifestyle (tattoo artists/piercers, biker or seen as a novelty etc). Objectification, like most judgments, begins with perception.

Man and the body

Do the names Adonis, Narcissuses or Dorian Grey ring any bells? Adonis was the personification of masculine beauty and Aphrodite’s lover in Greek mythology. Narcissuses was so enamoured by his own appearance he stood staring at a pool of water until he died. The Picture of Dorian Gray was written by Oscar Wilde about a man who sold his soul for eternal youth. Those analogies paint a picture of a certain demographic, don’t they? We’ve all become accustom to certain male bodies – the David Beckham’s, Tyson Beckford’s, Zac Effron’s; hell even Jonah Hill (pre weight-loss) has a place in Hollywood.

Have you seen a plus-size male model before? He’s full figured, goes to the gym, eats right, has a healthy relationship with food and alcohol but is no Marc Jacobs or Tom Ford.

The US retailer Target broke new ground by becoming the first to promote their male plus-size model – Zach Miko. Miko stands at 6’6” and wears XXL. In the spirit of inclusivity Target also advertises wedding registries for gay couples and has successfully launched shape diversity swimwear campaigns. As Gok would say, you go Tarjay!

Zach told People magazine, “My main message to people is; ‘Why not now? Why can’t you feel attractive the way you are right now? […] It’s great to be more fit, more healthy, more active, but that doesn’t mean who you are right now is invalid, or that who you are right now isn’t an attractive person. We need to keep seeing bigger, smaller. We need to see every body type. We need to see that every type of person is beautiful.” Mmmhm. Agreed!

Equal Pay Everyday

On the 27th of October 2015 we celebrated (or should I say spent) Equal Pay Day in Australia. Did you know in Australia women are paid 18.6% LESS than men! According to PedestrianTV.com this means women are only paid 81.4% of the year. Okay, brace yourselves because I’m going to say something very true but also very controversial. The only industries, generally speaking (I’m not talking about obscure, niche jobs) where women are paid more than men are prostitution/stripping and modelling. Though there is absolutely no link between the two that is definitely kitchen table talk for later.

I’m proud to say All My Friends Are Models are equal opportunists. We actively support issues of inequality and work hard to break damaging stereotypes of what beauty is and how it should appear. Team work makes the dream work! (Yes that was a shameless work plug.)

I digress… Let’s talk about modelling income. American model Sean O’Pry (he was in Taylor Swift’s Blank Space music video) is a top earner at 1.5 million annually, according to Fortune Magazine. Miranda Kerr earned more than double at $7 million. Shout-out to Aussie babe Miranda Kerr. What makes models like Miranda Kerr worth more than Sean O’Pry – besides having to earn your keep. I have a feeling it has more to do with sellablity than anything else. Women earn 148% more than men in modelling, according to Payscale.com. While men will probably never be on the same salary as women in this industry, there are definitely changes in the air. The launch of Men’s New York Fashion Week has been seen by editors, buyers and designers as a cataylst for much needed change.

The future of the fashionable man

This is no longer a man’s world. Women are wearing the Tom Ford pants and Dior shirt with the Chanel loafers. Outside of office hours, men who model should not to be defined by physical appearance alone. I know it sounds like the pot calling the kettle black but everyone – no matter what you do and how you do it – should have a right to equal pay, representation and acceptance across the board regardless of gender, race, sexual orientation and personal preference. We need to believe this is a concept worth fighting for.

So a toast to men who model. May you continue to do what you do, stride how you stride, wear what you wear and never be afraid to be fashionable at any age, in any size. Who doesn’t love staring at cheekbones you could grate brie on. Wine anyone?

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This article was written by Margretta Sowah; a freelance writer and Fashion Marketer based in Sydney. All opinions expressed are her own. She cannot be held liable for bad taste. She also likes to spin yarn from time to time.Read more: http://www.allmyfriendsaremodels.com/male-models-when-will-they-be-taken-seriously/#ixzz3rGAd9R2D

Flash back Friday

        

                          “No amount of history can surpass chemistry.” 

Thoughts on Thursday | Musings

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‘Enjoy it while it lasts’ sums up only half of the human condition.

I think it should be, ‘enjoy it while it lasts but don’t forget why you wanted/needed it.’

It is through our wants that we are reminded of our needs.

#ThoughtsonThursday

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Is Selling Sex Dirty?

Is Selling Sex Dirty feature image

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By Margretta Sowah


“To be commercial or to be creative? Why cant it be both?.”

They say too much of a good thing is bad for you. Creativity, like a bashful lover, is an elusive force – she creeps in the night and leaves in the morning. The world is full of drama and intrigue; things are happening every day. After discussing the power of consumerism, as most do, right? with a friend we came to the conclusion that creativity and commercialism are no longer seen in the same vein. Once upon a time the art of making money was looked upon as a creative achievement – and it is, in a secular sort of way – but now, with the rise of smart technology and customisation, it is not enough to be profit driven or too idealistic. With the right balance brands (and people) can utilise the power of commerce and capitalism. There is no shame in being creative and commercial. To put it in a different way; you can’t have your cake and eat it too but you can sure as hell lick the spoon…

‘Brash cash’ and all that

I don’t think I know anyone who would describe Kim Kardasian as a ‘creative’ person. Business savvy with a hell of a lot of social prowess; yes, but not innovative. We can’t be everything to everyone. Mrs West is on the tip of our tongues for one real reason – her persona, and by that I mean how she spends her life. Such associations include her overpublicised relation with sexual, monetary and the Elizabeth-Taylor-in-Cleopatra circa 1963 fame. With 49.1 million followers on instagram, surpassing Beyonce by a million followers or so, it was no surprise the self-professed Queen of Selfies released a book of supposedly candid intimate photos, spanning a nine year period. The visual autobiography, “Selfish”, launched in May 2015 with much hype surrounding the reality star’s most indulgent and revealing body of work… sans her golden performance in a sextape with Rnb star Ray J.

The Karadasians are a prime example of the ‘brash cash’ demographic. Believing in business being solely about selling profitable benefits, everyone in the Karadasian/Jenner clan is involved in some sort of enterprise. Whether it is their DASH store, a new App, clothing line or even Robert’s ‘Arthur George’ socks, each one is cashing in. Kim’s App, Kim Karadasian: Hollywood has grosses over an estimated 59 thousand daily. Would you call that a creative endeavour? Some would say yes. The App, in my opinion, doesn’t seem to be stemming from a place of concept but rather capitalising on a moment. No disrespect to the family. As Wendy Williams has said, there are only so many places in Harvard.

Does sex sell

Wearing it well

Rick Owens stole Paris Fashion Week. Headlines like, “What you need to understand about those ‘human backpacks’ gave the controversial and unexpected performance art a runway show. Rick told Dazeddigital.com, “All the women in my life are formidable. I have seen them all step up to handle adversity with grace […] Straps can be about restraint but here they are all about support and cradling. Straps here become loving ribbons”, with the show being an ode to “nourishment, sisterhood/motherhood and regeneration; women raising women, women becoming women and women supporting other women.”

The spectacle had the audience focussed on models walk down the runway with other women strapped upside down to their bodies – a visual and emotional jolt of reality, too heavy and heaving to escape. In the case of semiotics (the study of signs and symbols) having women wear women surely has feministic – which is commercial as an ideology – and regressive implications. No doubt there would be more heated reactions if it was a male model with a woman as backpacks. Sexism would rear its commercial head and plant seeds no amount of creativity could cover. Yes, I said itit had to be said (see on youtube; Chris Rock – Kill the Messenger). Once again the fetishism of lesbians is glorified where the homosexual image is downplayed and even pigeonholed to being ‘camp’.

Rick Owens Paris Fashion Week

All work, all play

So the news and panties dropped on Playboy Enterprises Inc.’s direction for their premier magazine, Playboy. Beginning in 1972, 7 million issues have been distributed monthly to 1.25 million today, according to the Los Angeles Times. Most have heard of the Playboy mansion and the man of the manor, Hugh Hefner. The infamous ‘grotto’ has made this adult entertainment magazine as sought after as the women who pose for their Centrefold editions – Kim Karadasian is a good example, though personally Pamela Anderson was one of my favourite covers.

Suffering from nostalgia, Playboy magazine wants to focus on content and culture rather than ‘designer va(g)inas’. Playboy editorial director Jimmy Jellinek told the Los Angeles Times; “You could tell by looking at it, the carpets had gotten a little bit musty. We made a conscious decision two years ago that we needed to make some profound changes to the aesthetic and construction of the magazine.”

Whether Playboy ups their content game or not, there will always be a need for… gratification, in different forms. Being commercial – as some would call Playboy – is not a dirty word anymore. There are so many new and exciting opportunities to make money in this world. Some focuses on concept, some focuses on cash. We can have both. We, as a society, are not necessarily concerned with origins either, despite the new age-y need for knowing everything. Whatever happened to ignorance is bliss?

Some of us don’t want honesty, we just want beautiful things. In my opinion there are far dirtier words than commercialism or capitalism. These include: repression, intolerance, and ignorance. Whether commercial or creative, we can all capitalise on the available resources and come out on top… if that is your position of choice.

Playboy If Sex Sells

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This article is written by Margretta Sowah; a freelance writer and Fashion Marketer based in Sydney. All opinions expressed are her own. She cannot be held liable for bad taste. She also likes to spin yarn from time to time. Read more: http://www.allmyfriendsaremodels.com/is-selling-sex-dirty/#ixzz3qQas45TA

The Beginners Guide For A Fashion Intern

Beginners guide for a fashion intern feature image

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By Margretta Sowah


Your fashionable mission, should you choose to accept, is to become the head in which brand [x], for all intents and exploitation purposes, shall rest its fair-weathered and creative crown upon. The duties include: a new wardrobe that you cannot afford and a slew of technical verbatim like Prêt-à-Porter and Piqué. To counteract any stereotype of the “fashion woman”, let me break down the criteria for success and give you a repertoire of small talk topics and fashionable idioms. This post stems from a fun spirit and little life experience… surely that’s worth a bit of tongue-in-cheek.

1. You will be subject to piles of fabulous clothing,
which you will have to organize by color, collection or personal preference. Resist the urge to throw yourself into a sample size and instagram your look. Remember that is not an indication of your worth but rather your time management skills. #wardrobegoals

2. You will be a coffee/latte expert.
Chai. Soy latte… it is no secret that interns are beverage connoisseurs with coffee-runs being a rite of passage in almost any industry. Having prior knowledge as a barista will definitely come in handy when taking orders for the staff. If you can carry half a dozen coffees in one go while juggling your notes and that dress you were asked to pick up, even better. Moments like this show untapped potential… with the smell of coffee being the fuel to carry on for the rest of the day (or at least the next few hours).

3. You might get to go for a Champagne run.
If that happens I suggest you purchase the bottle(s), wait outside the building – preferably in an alley or behind a bin – and take several sips before walking it. If they ask what happened to the bottle just say you were attacked by a homeless man who demanded a few swigs of the Champs. Not only will your supervisors praise you for such a selfless act, they may even palm off ‘exciting research opportunity’ for you! Putting others before yourself always pays off.

4. Observations will be your best friend, along with your intuition.
Having the privilege of being in the midst of such talented and creative people allows you access to confidential information. Forget about your ex, this is where your stalking and spy skills come into play. Keep a sharp eye on your surroundings – who is coming in? Going out? Doing what? Seeing who? Smelling how? – Yes, even smells paint a picture. (Please note this does not include anything illegal or unethical).

5. Be ready to sell yourself
and by that I mean sell your talents. No one likes a Nancy-know-it-all but no one respects a Silent-Sam either. Have a pitch in your back pocket of your greatest assets – professional assets, of course. Putting your boobs on blast will not get you to Fashion Week. Starting with, “Well, if you ask me…” shows your listening skills and proactive attitude.

6. Your Cocktail/Spirit/Wine game should be on point.
Partying is a huge part of the Fashion schedule – though we call it ‘work parties’ but really it should be called, ‘any excuse to get sh*tfaced.’ I advise you take a cocktail course and study up on the difference between a Sauvignon Blanc and a Sémillon. Both look the same, taste relatively similar but are not to be confused at a work party. Stick to colourful, mixed spirits – stay away from anything clear before dinner and remind yourself that Beer is as attractive as a Burberry’s suede boot in the middle of summer. Bottoms up!

Having these things in mind will definitely prepare you for the weeks of character building menial jobs. No matter how far along the journey you are, rest assured all your dreams can come true when preparation meets opportunity… I think they call that luck. Of course, not all things on this list will happen – especially the Champagne run, though I did intern for a company where we drank every Friday… that’s what happens when you allow yourself to conform to the ways of this business. You gain industry experience while finding your tipsy way home… oh, and you get to use the word ‘Haute Couture’ without sounding like a plebe. Not a bad gig.

*Please note no one was injured or fired in the process of gathering research for this post. I do not endorse bad outfits or behavior.

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This article is written by Margretta Sowah; a freelance writer and Fashion Marketer based in Sydney. All opinions expressed are her own. She cannot be held liable for bad taste. She also likes to spin yarn from time to time. Read more: http://www.allmyfriendsaremodels.com/beginners-guide-fashion-intern/#ixzz3qQWzADvS