She's young! She's blonde! She's cute! She's the embodiment of women photographers!
There’s been blowback against Nielsen and PDN on FB and Twitter for their proposed new magazine, PIX, aimed at women photographers. And more here and here .
With stories like:
"Smudge-proof makeup tips for long days behind the camera"
"Seasonal Flats: these flats will keep your feet covered, comfortable and cute while you're on photo shoots,"
and stories on wedding photography and photographing newborns, you might think you had traveled back in time. It’s easy to think that, but what really gets my blood boiling, is that once again, women are being marginalized.
Yes, we may be half of the population (and yes, we hold up half the sky), but why do we need to be singled out? And why, once again are we being told that shopping is an integral part of a profession? We've been bombarded by TV shows about weddings, wedding dresses, wedding as competition, by “Bad Girls Clubs,” and fame through Internet sex tapes; by the recent rape “jokes” of a so-called comedian, and by major magazine stories like TIME’s “Are You Mom Enough?” (to single out just a few). It's as if there never was a feminist movement.
And for every strong woman in the public eye there is a story commenting on her hair, her looks, why she’s a bitch, or how nice her clothes are. All of MSM is responsible, but they are not alone. The “girlization” (I didn’t make that up) of females in our society has been going on for a while now. And as much as I love the craft world, and the attention to décor and design, they focus so much on “cuteness.” Since their primary audience is women, they also take part in making all women seem only focused on shopping and the home. They make women seem non-threatening and they put women in their place.
"If you love to snap photos, chances are you're pretty creative and artsy about the rest of your world too," writes Pix's Editor-in-Chief. "It's important to you that your business is modern and cool, you've always got an eye out for hip clothing and accessories, and looking professional and shooting well are top priorities."
In the past year photographers have been kidnapped, assaulted, and killed. Women photographers have had to defend themselves against claims that they shouldn't shoot what they do. Will “smudge-proof makeup” or “luminous lenses” help in Syria? Ask Lynsey Addario, or Stephanie Sinclair, or Kate Brooks, or any number of women what they think. Do you think Margaret Bourke-White was worried about her mascara when she photographed Buchenwald? When did selling clothing and accessories become a cash cow for a photography-focused media company?
When we look around, all we see are efforts to defame and marginalize women. It’s not just the Taliban who keep women down. Republicans around the country are proposing and passing laws to keep women pregnant; to keep them without access to healthcare or child care or jobs training, or anything that might help propel them forward. Rape is still used as a tool of war.
This is such a blatant attempt to jump on the selling bandwagon, to appeal to young women who are obsessed with what they wear and with buying the perfect things they use, women who "take pictures" of pretty things. Not woman who are professional photographers, or who aspire to be.
Is this the best Neilsen can come up with to make more money? Have they run out of contest categories? It makes photography seems like just a flirtation, and not a means of giving voice, and certainly not a real career. In this struggling economy, just making a living as a photographer is hard enough, now you have to worry that your makeup is right?
Surprised? No. Disgusted? Yes. Think this is going to stop anytime soon?