Thursday, October 08, 2009

Sexual Availability: Always On-Trend


I've no way of knowing whether this gem from 1964 found its way into the self-congratulatory Vogue retrospective currently blighting the City of Lights, but I think it rather nicely demonstrates the type of chutzpa that has made Vogue the international 'gold standard' in fashion. 

Clearly the magazine understood decades before any other the appeal of second wave feminism and the ease with which its rhetoric about sexual freedom could be co-opted and placed in the service of capital. Clever cropping insinuates the once-shameful act, while the sterile white background and futuristic space hat turn it into something modern (and thus fashionable!).


Who knows where we might be today, Gentle Reader of the female persuasion, without Vogue's courage 50 years ago to turn us all from modest, old timey dames into chic, fellating women? 

I, for one, shudder to think...


Maria Confer said...

So true!! They were so bold and I love it.

Anonymous said...

You're so right. Female sexual empowerment has been perverted into a new subjugation. I've seen fashion magazines that publish images of women, prone yet fashionable, in poses that imply sexual violence. How can we be, after the 70s, after Roe vs Wade, allowing the media to continue to sell the idea that woman=sextoy? aren't we more than our bodies?

There's this book that I really want to read called "Female Chauvinist Pigs". It's about how, in our era, women are relegating themselves to their sexual role. We don't need men to repress us, we'll do it for free. Paris Hilton? Pussycat Dolls? Rap videos? Etc. etc.

Sorry to ramble, but I read the Feminine Mystique recently. And I'm still mad.

MAB Jewelry said...

That image is incredible! Bless those swinging sisters in the sixties and seventies.

calivintage said...

haha, that's great. i kinda wish magazines were still that cool.

HUzzah! Vintage said...

PREACH ON, Sister April! Female Chauvinist Pigs by Levy is great!

If you haven't already, check out Valerie Solanas' S.C.U.M. Manifesto. It's a feminist rhetorical avant art masterpiece. She refers to men as 'walking abortions'...incomplete women. CLASSIC.

Louise said...

Female Chauvanist Pigs is fantastic! And I too am so over seeing overtly sexual images objectifying (in most cases very young) women's bodies in fashion magazines. Aren't they meant to make women want to buy clothes?? It is a real bug bear with me at the moment.

HUzzah! Vintage said...

the worst are those Baby Gap ads from a few years back in which the children are effectively posed as adult models (ie, three-year-old girls are lightly touching their faces and coyly looking away from the camera)

I think I heard recently too that LL Cool J has a line of children's clothes for Sears that is both "Cool and Sexy."