That Feeling of Feeling Good and Beautiful.
Bulgarian beauty/fashion magazine12have recently come under fire following the publication of an issue sporting a collection of ‘fashion’ photos under the theme ‘Victim of Beauty’. These images, unsurprisingly, flaunt a collection of beautiful women gorgeously done up but with the surprising addition of horrendous wounds, cuts and bruises which the viewer can only be lead to believe were delivered in the name of said ‘beauty.’
Since publication,12magazine has come under fire for the content of the images, as both an indication and encouragement of violence and self-deprecating and damaging provocation in the name of ‘beauty’.
Cheryl Wischhover of Fashionista reached out to the websites editors-in-chief in an attempt to better understand the reasoning behind these controversial images. They responded:
The editors-in-chief, Huben Hubenov and Slav Anastasov, wrote in an email:
First of all, we would like to say we are happy that our shoot provoked an international discussion, at some scale.
It is also important to say, that we do NOT support violence of ANY kind, and this is NOT a shoot glamorizing, or encouraging, or
supporting violence against women. We believe that images such as ours can be seen from various angles, and we think that exactly that is what is beautiful about fashion and photography in general – that anybody can understand it their own way,and fill it with their own meaning. Where some see a brutal wound, others see a skilful (sic) work of an artist, or an exquisite face of a beautiful girl. [ http://fashionista.com/2012/06/editors-at-12-magazine-defend-their-beauty-editorial-featuring-brutally-injured-women/2/ ]
My primary issue with these images is not only their content. No, despite its disturbing nature, I am further concerned with the context which these images advocate regarding ‘fashion’ and ‘beauty’. For me, fashion has a significant position in that it can make a person experience the feeling of beauty, frequently and fearlessly. Yes, I am aware that fashion designers and the long-time beauty tabloid, the women’s magazine, concern a majority of their existence with destroying the self-worth of many women in the constant portrayal and persuasion of ‘what you could be’, etc. But fashion itself, by which I mean clothing alone, and of all different styles, from all different materials, designs and concerns of the world have a way of making people feel good. This is what I aspire to in fashion, not what the magazines offer, not the ‘perfect’, impossibly skinny body, not the flat tummy, or the unblemished face but that feeling of feeling good in what you wear.
Many aspects of the fashion industry have already obliterated what I aspire to in the name of ‘fashion’ and ‘beauty’ - the feeling of feeling good without the need for self-deprecation or self-loathing. Now, 12magazine have placed that feeling of feeling good completely out of reach.