Laurie Toby Edison

Photographer

The Other Girl Parts

Debbie says:

Context is everything.

Amanda at Pandagon found this story (and we found it through Arthur D. Hlavaty). There’s nothing new about exploiting women’s cleavage in the newspaper, and there’s nothing surprising about an Alabama reporter being upset because his column had a cleavage picture. The gold is in Loretta Nall’s response to having her cleavage in the paper. Here’s a peek:

While I am in no way ashamed of the photo, a little cleavage never hurt anyone after all, I have to question your decisions of not contacting me for a photo and using information from a website other than my campaign website, which is located at http://www.nallforgovernor.com .

I also question why you chose that particular photo out of about 200 available on the internet, many of which were more suitable for the political nature of the article in which the photo appeared. It doesn’t seem to be a decision that a person of your journalistic credibility and background would make.

On the up side, my web traffic has been through the roof….I guess nothing drives people to website quite like a shot at seeing some high profile boobies. If nothing else, you have secured me the “horny guy” vote that exists among your readers.

Nall’s straightforward acceptance of both cleavage and exploitation is refreshing. I wish attitudes like hers were more common, and more commonly publicized.

On a completely different note, I don’t feel good about sculptor Mary Ellen Scherl based on her description of the great good she did a nameless fat woman by increasing her self-esteem so she could lose weight. Nonetheless, Scherl’s current project seems to be doing good, and doing it well.

Thanks to Kathy Walton for the Mamorial article link.

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3 Responses to “The Other Girl Parts”

  1. Lynne Murray Says:

    I could not help but wonder on the politician’s cleavage issue, if there is a “horny male vote”–is that something like voting with your feet…as in, “I thought about voting but stayed home to commune with the candidate’s cleavage.” Never mind. The object of using that picture was to trivialize the candidate. Whether it worked or not will be interesting to see.

    Re sculptor Mary Ellen Scherl’s supposed good deed of increasing her 400-pound model’s self-esteem leading to her weight loss (or as we more sophisticated observers might call it “momentary weight loss”)… Sigh. I liked the pieces until I read that and then I felt the weight of the sculptor’s negative judgment about her model and it gave me a queasy feeling. My gut level feeling is that it might have been that spoken or unspoken condemnation from the sculptor that made the 400-pound model feel she had to lose weight. Hearing those words from that sculptor has now put me off her work for good. And that may not be fair because the work is the work no matter what words are said about it. I’ve known many artists who work in the visual realm, and frequently words are not their thing. They open their mouths and empty out their heads just because they have to say something. But they’re not used to examining what the words might mean because, um…words are not their thing. Nonetheless artists have to promote their work and that involves talking about it. Yet talking exposes one’s prejudices, as nakedly as the sculptures expose the flesh.

  2. Patsy Nevins Says:

    I agree with you, Lynne. I want no part of any work done by any artist who does not show real respect for his or her models. This person may do some beautiful work, but she is a fat bigot. I do not want to look at her work, buy it, nor would I wish to model for her. Increase the model’s self-esteem?!!! I would think it far more likely that she destroyed whatever self-esteem the model ever had & played on her insecurities to persuade her that she was defective as she was & that losing weight would cure all her problems. It has been my long experience, both from myself & those whom I have known, that people who make deliberate efforts to lose weight never do so because they have so much self-esteem, but because they feel so inferior & defective as they are. If you believe that you are good, worthy, whole & acceptable as you are, you don’t need to do something major, especially something which usually damages your health & increases your mortality risks, in order to feel better about yourself.

  3. Laurie Says:

    I agree with both of you. The comments by Mary Ellen Scheri were
    damaging and bigoted.

    And I also think that, as Lynne says, sometimes you have to look at the work separate from the creator.

    Until I got used to it, I was often amazed at the difference between artists and writers and their work. Sometimes it really feels like two different people did the work.

    My personal moral line is that I won’t spend money on work, no matter how much I like it, if the politics of the creator is damaging to values I think are important.

    If this isn’t as clear as usual, I just got back from visitng Tee Corinne in Oregon and I’m still pretty tired.

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