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Grad project questions
Old 03-29-2006, 03:45 PM   #1 (permalink)
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Hello all;
Hope everything is going well at your end and that everyone had a chance to get outside today.
I'm currently working on a project for my Contemporary Issues in Art class and I would like your input. The central theme is about what seems to be a shift in perception about modeling. I don't want to say too much as I don't want to imply anything that may sway your responses so here it is:
For everyone - Do you think that women are moving away from a thought/position of recent decades where posing is demeaning and/or degrading towards women? Is there a stigma attached to those that do model? Is there a shift towards women wanting to be portrayed as "beautiful/glamorous" again? Are more women getting pictures done? Are they getting pictures done to affirm their self-image or to see themselves in a different way? What would you say to someone who does believe it is demeaning/degrading?
For the models - Why did/do you model? What did/do you get out of it emotionally and psychologically? Is your ego, self-image, and such affected? In what way? Is it just for money? Would you still do it if there wasn't money involved and there wasn't any expenses?
Please be honest and truthful. Please do not feel like your response won't count as every response does whether you've only done one shoot or 100.
You can always e-mail me if you don't want to post your answer here.
Mark
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Re: Grad project questions
Old 03-29-2006, 04:13 PM   #2 (permalink)
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Your own comments, such as, "...women are moving away from a thought/position of recent decades where posing is demeaning and/or degrading towards women?" lead the discerning reader to question whether you have a strong bias, misconception, or downright ignorance. Exactly what leads YOU to believe that in past decades, there actually WAS a notion that modeling is "demeaning and/or degrading?" Readers who read your post carefully may discern a very strong underlying bias, a muddle of confused thinking, an attempt to conceal the actual slant or bias or theme of the purported grad study.

The truly perceptive and thoughtful readers might question why human brains and energy are wasted on self-indulgent self-absorbed mush like this "study." And such readers might even be sad that taxpayer money is used for classes leading to such mush, and that such mush is (most bizarre of all) considered necessary or desirable to 'qualify' the musher for a teaching job.
 
 
Re: Grad project questions
Old 03-29-2006, 04:36 PM   #3 (permalink)
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Well, to set the record straight I go to a private college on my dime so no tax payers money is being used in this endevour of mine. Thank you for your concerns in that matter.

Actually, yes I do have a bias but it might not be what you are implying. While my work for grad school has nothing to do with working with models I do get questioned a lot for working with models as a small business and for fun. Issues of "male gaze", objectification, and such are always brought up by those that raise the issue usually in regards to feminist views (that's where I got the "notion" that there were these kinds of issues). Do I think modeling is degrading and demeaning? Baring certain genres - heck no. Can I see their point? At times I do.

My point in all this is not to thrust views into faces but rather measure the barameter in terms of perceptions and beliefs. I believe they are changing but I would like to know how much and in what direction. I realize my wording could have been better but then everyone's could be. Every study could be considered "slanted" or "biased" in some way.

Your response in itself will be considered a viable answer in that you seem to believe that there was never an issue. I'm not saying you are right or wrong - that is not my intention. I'm just gathering.

For the record...asking questions, no matter how stupid they seem to you, is never a waste of time nor is it self-indulgent. How else could we learn or grow?
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Re: Grad project questions
Old 03-29-2006, 04:43 PM   #4 (permalink)
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i believe that women have undergone a drastic transformation as of late. First off i definately see a change in the average woman (not every single woman, but an overall trend) to where they are persuing more provacative and sexy roles in life. you can see it in the way they dress now. in the days of old, women were proper and neat and modest. now it is not unusual to see a woman out in the streets with more skin exposed than covered. women have been treated as sexual objects for men since the dawn of time. it seems now though that women know this and are seeking to take tit o the next level.

specifically to your question about a stigma to models and posing i think there is a small stigma applied by society. however most people i talk to apply the unhealthy/eating disorder stigma to models.
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Re: Grad project questions
Old 03-29-2006, 09:07 PM   #5 (permalink)
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"Do you think that women are moving away from a thought/position of recent decades where posing is demeaning and/or degrading towards women?"

Nonsense. Since the first photographer aimed a camera at a woman, some women have done 'degrading' poses, while most would not do those poses. While the percentage of women doing some form of modeling has certainly changed with the advent of the net, I doubt very much that the percentages have changed at all. Second, the question is pretty much meaningless as everyone has their own personal definition of what is "degrading". What might be degrading to one is totally acceptable to someone else. The mere use of the word "degrading" is a value judgement.

"Is there a stigma attached to those that do model?"
Only among the most conservative, anal 'born again' types.

"Is there a shift towards women wanting to be portrayed as "beautiful/glamorous" again?"
I'm confused by the term "again". Does that mean in your opinion there was a period in which women did not want to be shown as "beautiful/glamorous". Not im my 50 years of experience have I ever photographed a woman who wanted to look ubbeautiful or unglamorous.!

"Are more women getting pictures done?"
Probably not. Women have always been the primary subject in general portraiture, going back to when a portrait studio was on every other corner. But are women getting more 'risque' portraits done, probably so. In my own experience, a bulk of my provate commissions are made up of women in the 40s an d 50's who said they wanted to have nudes done in theoir 20s, but did not have the nerve. Now they are getting photos done "before it all falls apart".

"Are they getting pictures done to affirm their self-image or to see themselves in a different way?"
Yes.

"What would you say to someone who does believe it is demeaning/degrading?"
Apparently you do based on your questions. To that I say bull****! Some believe the statue of David is degrading.



Is there a stigma attached to those that do model? Is there a shift towards women wanting to be portrayed as "beautiful/glamorous" again? Are more women getting pictures done? Are they getting pictures done to affirm their self-image or to see themselves in a different way? What would you say to someone who does believe it is demeaning/degrading?
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Re: Grad project questions
Old 03-30-2006, 12:28 AM   #6 (permalink)
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You've picked a hell of a broad social topic to tackle in an online forum!! I actually feel quite strongly about the issues you raise (prob many glamour photographers do..) but I don't feel like typing up a wordy essay in a forum... Suffice to say, Doug's response is great!
I do have a suggestion though - perhaps you would get much more useable information if you could create an online questionaire and asked people to fill it out? Something simple with check boxes maybe?
Wouldn't that get you more useable information in a more or less impartial way than weighing in with a bunch of hugely broad questions on possibly one of the most pro-model websites on the net? I mean, it'd be a pretty weird glamour photographer who could stomach the thought of modeling being a demeaning occupation...
Like I said, just a thought..
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