Tuesday, January 13, 2009

Forehead Lacerations

So when I got home from school today, my mom was like "Oh yeah, I wrote a really nasty email to the Urban Outfitters people. I was looking through the catalogue and there were a bunch of pictures of really young, like 14-looking, naked girls. I told them if they keep doing pictures like that a lot of people are going to start looking at their catalogues for child porn. And they emailed me back with some crap about 'the photographer's artistic vision' and 'our customers like it'." Uh-oh. Well I salvaged the catalogue from the trash and took a look. I actually liked a lot of the interesting and rather bizarre photography, but though I'm no prude (ahahaha), when I saw the pictures I was kind of like wtf. For the benefit of those who don't get the catalogue, there was this girl wearing a skirt and sunglasses barely covering herself with her hand, a totally nude girl removing her stockings, another girl covered only with a crumpled up t-shirt, and a girl in the classic lying-on-my-stomach-in-nothing-but-jeans pose. And then the clear American Apparel ripoffs: girls in extremely see-through tops and the classic butt-in-face pose, plus a girl wearing lace leggings paired only with lingerie, several girls wearing outfits with a bra instead of a shirt and the requisite scantily-clad-girl-taking-shower pose. Edit: See here, here, and here for some examples. So, alright, what's the big deal?

Well, not only are the models very young-looking (young, innocent, and naked...) but also... this is a catalogue. Sure, Abercrombie, American Apparel, etc. have been using naked people to sell clothes for quite some time, but what struck me about the UO catalogue was that it was done to look so arty. It's just weird. You're a catalogue, not Vogue Paris. I just find it extremely unnecessary to use "artful" nudity in catalogue. Thoughts?

And now, for the outfit:




Wet Seal blazer, headband, belt, and necklace. Target dress. DIY shredded jeans. Converse sneakers.

Yesterday I dressed kind of flapper-ish, today was kind of hippie-ish! And the blazer because "most members of the counter culture were white middle- or upper-class college kids." Ahh it's fun to learn about the stuff in school. I heart 20th Century History! But the headband only lasted through first block because it was giving me a horrible headache and when I took it off there was this big red imprint all across my forehead! Jeez....

15 comments:

Sarah said...

OMG I really like you outfit! The hippiness is really cool and i soo love the headband! And I personally think that the Urban Outfitters thing is just art and its not as bad as Abercrombie where they want you to do it!

<3 Sarah

Indigirl said...

Artful nudity is a bit crazy, and I dont understand why people do it. But the american apparel ads are much worse in my mind. I love your outfit though ,the jeans are awesome.

Fashion Fille said...

you can view the catalog here if you want to put up some of the pictures! http://www.urbanoutfitters.com/urban/help/RequestCatalog.jsp

grrrrrrreat outfit! the 2nd one makes it look especially fantastic!

lily m said...

Ya I dont really care about nudity in art (profeshional photagraphy, paintings ,drawings) but idk how I feel about it in a catolague...I havent gotten It yet so I cant judge!

awesome outfit by the way!

Anonymous said...

that's a pretty craaazy outfit. cool.

harry said...

The UO catalogue isn't really a catalogue in the traditional sense. It has like a tenth of their actual clothing line in it. It is just selling the UO lifestyle, just like the little catalogue Am. Ap. put out every so often.
It does a pretty good job at doing so.
I don't have the catalogue, but looked online; from what I could tell the models didn't seem that young to me, certainly not 14; but then, models are young, and fashion in general is young.
I agree it is pretty unnecessary to use nudity in their catalogue (especially in such obvious ways), but I suppose they should also be applauded for bringing some creativity into something that is a quite traditional format and mass market.

harry said...

The UO catalogue isn't really a catalogue in the traditional sense. It has like a tenth of their actual clothing line in it. It is just selling the UO lifestyle, just like the little catalogue Am. Ap. put out every so often.
It does a pretty good job at doing so.
I don't have the catalogue, but looked online; from what I could tell the models didn't seem that young to me, certainly not 14; but then, models are young, and fashion in general is young.
I agree it is pretty unnecessary to use nudity in their catalogue (especially in such obvious ways), but I suppose they should also be applauded for bringing some creativity into something that is a quite traditional format and mass market.

harry said...

whoops. Sorry for the double. Not sure how that happened.

WendyB said...

I'm amused that your mom got all activist on their asses.

born socialite said...

i think the AA ads are much worse than the UO ads (although i only saw a few pics from the catalog.)
love the outfit and thanks for the link!! ;)

Emily said...

I agree. I do NOT mind nudity at all, as long as there is a purpose. For instance, a nipple or 2 in French Vogue is completely acceptable to me, not in a catalogue with the purpose of selling clothes. While I realize that UO uses their "catalogues" as a means of creativity or whatnot and don't even feature all their products, not everyone wants to see suggestive photos. Quite daring of them, actually, and not necessarily in a good way.

Anyway, I love this outfit, and I really like your blog. The ripped jeans are fabulous =)

yoncto said...

i actually love the UO photographs, the only problem i have with them is that they're UO. so maybe i'm just pretentious.

Nice and Shiny said...

I agree. That's totally unnecessary. My respect for UO has been steadily decreasing over the past year, this is the lowest point so far.
Besides the moral aspect (which IS completely relevent), I think this also just shows a huge lack of creativity. If UO wants to do something "different", then why do they copy the nudity that's been used in tons of ads. Especially if for some brands it's thier "thing" to have nudity (ie AA, or Abercrombie like you said) and have the same photoshoot concepts a million times before. Really, it just doesn't make sense.
I'm proud that there are people like your Mom that stand up to say something about this kind of exploitation. You're lucky to have someone like her in your life!
<3<3<3

Eleanor said...

Very cute outfit, you look gorgeous in the third picture.
xx

ps. go your mum! I agree, practically naked early teens do not need to feature in catalogues.

Yvonne said...

hmm about the catalog pics and similar ones.. i think i wouldn't mind so much if only there were a equal number of young men posed and dressed in similar ways. Just to be fair ya know.