Tuesday, May 3, 2016

Louis Vuitton's Barbie

Vogue May 2016
Every time that I see this Louis Vuitton ad, I'm a little freaked out by the model. Is she real? If she is, how did they make her look so ... not real? Naturally, photoshop played a role in creating this look. No one can look like this, or can they?

Several months ago, my students showed me pictures of 'real' Barbies. They got me ... I was distracted from whatever it was we were doing at the time, and we spent a minute looking into the Barbie girls. I believe, if I'm not mistaken, that there's a YouTube video of how these women put together their 'look.'

My students are enthralled with the Barbie girl, boys and girls alike. As teenagers, I know, that they are drawn to looks of perfection. They want this hair, those nails, that gear. It is the nature of the beast that is uncomfortable within their own skin and look for anyone else's skin that is in their estimation ... flawless.

No, this is not a mannequin. It is a REAL girl.
Oh, what do we do to people, boys and girls alike again that puts so much pressure on them to want to achieve this? I understand the teenage angst, but with this Vuitton ad, it bleeds into the consciousness of those that should be beyond teenage awkwardness. I would be lying if I said that I never felt any pressure to look a certain way, and I'm thankful that I have the years under my belt to know that I don't have to be that in order to look my best. I live in magazines and see every month the carefully brushed  notion of how one is meant to look. I love the photographs. But I can also distinguish them from reality or from what my beauty is organically.

A few years ago now, a women colleague told me as we drank our happy Friday beers that I should really do something about some of the freckles on my face. She suggested that I have them lasered. Lasered? Dermatologists or cosmetologists or whomever can laser freckles? Why? I was born with freckles, and they have been my good friends for all of these years. Some have decided to spread out to be sure, but they are comfortable sitting on my face and turning toward the sun. Why would I ever ask them to leave? Or have them taken away from a bright, unnatural light held by someone wearing surgical gloves? It was her insecurity about her own looks to tell me to do that to be sure.

Oh Barbie, if I had your face, it would break as plastic does when it drops. Who could ever keep the look up? I suppose if I didn't have anything else to do. And this is what I would choose to do with my time? Oy!

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