Ain’t nothin’ hotter than a dead girl. -Jennifer L. Pozner, Director of WIMN’s Voices
Like a lot of other people, I don’t find violence against women funny, glamorous, inspiring or particularly artistic unless there’s a critical examination of violence spelled out in the artist’s statement. As I stated in an earlier post:
Our media landscape is populated with endless streams of images and messages glorifying, eroticizing and diminishing the serious nature of violence against women, an issue that some have called a hidden pandemic and others have labeled an epidemic of global proportions.
Lohan and the photographer have angrily responded that the images are just art and people shouldn’t get so upset. That, of course, isn’t the point. The bigger question is why photographers, artists, fashion editors, and others continue to find images of sexualized violence toward women compelling.
What is important to remember when photographs like these are released is that they are part of a spectrum. They do not stand alone as just one photograph or just one photo shoot. These images are part of a larger trend of images that feature domination, aggression, violence against women, and “dead” women (or as Jennifer Pozner dubs them, “beautiful corpses“). Through the use of body language, make-up and clothing victimization is implied and violence becomes commonplace. This gory stream of images, featuring mangled women with mouths agape and eyes glazed, is practically unremarkable in the pop culture landscape, especially in advertising. These 3 sets of images follow close on the heels of my recent posts critically examining the rampant misogyny and striking resemblance between Marc Jacobs ad campaigns and images of actual crime scenes of murdered women.