Victims of Beauty

Recently, there was a fashion editorial in a Bulgarian fashion magazine entitled “Victim of Beauty”— it was a series of photographs of models in expensive couture clothing, hair and makeup done, however, they have bruises, cuts, scratches– from what looks like violence.


This editorial is not to raise awareness to domestic violence, but it glamorizes the wounds, which is a problematic message to convey. The models in this editorial are done up in sultry makeup: smoky eyes, red lips– as well as their “brutalized faces”– To me, this editorial has nothing to do with fashion, it’s not a progressive statement artistically, and it was NOT well thought out. 


We learn about “double-conciousness”– seeing something and recognizing the double-meaning. In “Victim of Beauty”, the message does not even hold a double meaning because being victimized for being beautiful, or being abused for any reason is not acceptable. By publishing this piece, not only is the Bulgarian public exposed to it, but because of the controversial nature of it, more and more people are learning about this editorial, HOPEFULLY realizing what an awful publicity move it was on behalf of the publication. 

There really are not many words to describe this editorial, and the message it conveys is clear to the readers at first glance. The following are several images from the campaign. 




American Idols

A couple weeks ago, I blogged about music sensation, Lorde. At only 16, she’s topping the charts, her album entitled “Pure Heroine”— the sound is mature and brave. However, lately, another 16 year old has been making media headlines: Malala Yousefzai.


This young Pakistani girl is an advocate for education, and has literally almost lost her life over her war for education. She’s on the Taliban’s target list, but she continues to strongly advocate her cause.


After watching her guest-star on The Daily Show with Jon Stewart, I was blown away by her fearless, yet humble attitude when Jon Stewart asked her about the dangers she faces, but her persistence in getting her message across.




Even Christiane Amanpour held an interview with Malala– a more personal, feature interview with her– and it just made me wonder: How many more 16-year-old heroines are there?


Sure, Lorde calls herself a Pure Heroine, but there are hundreds of girls and women fighting for rights in education, society, and government in their countries– who is the real hero?


Though Malala is getting media attention, she is only getting a VERY small fraction of the coverage she and her fellow revolutionaries should be getting. It frustrates me, because a divorce between two famous reality television stars will make the front cover on dozens of magazines, but those who contribute to a crucial cause remain silent in the US mainstream media– and when one person comes around who is exceptional in anyway, the media will turn him/her into a heroic figure, but the buzz will die down quickly. 


Unfortunately, we live in a country that idolizes the Golden Globes over a UN Women’s Conference– but with the right journalists (forthcoming, present, and in the distant future) we will hopefully idolize the Malala’s and not the Kris Jenners. 


BuzzFeed: Journalism oooooor not?

One word. BuzzFeed.


It’s the one website I constantly see being posted on my friends’ Facebook walls, and it’s the one website that has changed the world of “journalism”– or can we even call it that?


I had originally heard about BuzzFeed through my cousin, she told me it was some website that had noteworthy videos, pictures, and events posted on it– all of those novelty-type funny videos and images we see on youtube or watch on Tosh.0– nothing intriguing to me.


Somehow, I watched the gradual build up of BuzzFeed on my newsfeed, especially on Facebook– and eventually twitter, until it became an explosion. But, can we really call BuzzFeed a “news source”? 


I mean, BuzzFeed does cover significant events, but what gets people hooked to BuzzFeed is not their coverage on the government shutdown, it’s their endless lists that so many of their followers find absolutely addicting. 


(Typical Headlines on BuzzFeed)

Some of them are entitled “26 Reasons Why You are Best Friends with Your Best Friend”— “35 of the Most LA things to Happen” These posts are often followed by a list of things, and along with these things are GIFS (or moving photos) from movies, shows, famous quotes, etc. 


I get it, people like to be entertained, but is BuzzFeed really as great as it seems?


In ways, absolutely yes. I find myself cackling out loud (COL) to posts like “23 Ways You Know You’re a Hot Cheetos Addict” (ALL OF WHICH ARE UNFORTUNATELY TRUE)– but I guess the only problem with BuzzFeed is that it guises itself as a news source, and for the sake of journalism, I think it’s best it identifies itself as a purely entertaining blog of some sort.

Vice Vice Baby

Vice Magazine.


The first time I had heard about this publication, I was in high school. It sounded like another “Time Magazine” or “Variety Magazine“– and I ignored it for a while. However, in recent months, I use it to read my news. 


What’s really unique about Vice is their approach in the news. They take cultural/social/political issues and incorporate the work of columnists, photographers, cartoonists, fiction writers, and journalists into their work. 


I chose to blog about VICE because it’s the kind of writing I’d hope to be involved in if I go forth with print journalism/online print journalism. It attracts a younger audience with insightful, fun approaches to serious and hard-hitting events occurring world wide.



[Controversial magazine covers Vice has published  in the past]

Their use of social media is smart– they’re minimal, creative, and strictly professional online– there aren’t any annoying ads or boring headlines– in fact, here are some great examples of their headlines:


Everyone Sucks 


I Was a Drug Dealer’s Delivery Service Guy 


Meet the Guy Who Shot Porn on the Westboro Baptist Church’s Lawn


This Week in Racism


Turkey Really Doesn’t Want Gay People to Have Sex 



Reading these headlines is initiative enough to click on the link or read below the headline– compared to news outlets like the NY Times, VICE takes similar, if not, the same newsworthy stories, but they make catchy headlines, and have interesting people write their stories.


Does this mean ANYONE should be able to write a column or an OP/ED piece on Russia’s Anti-Gay fiasco? No. But it means that having a graphic artist work collaboratively with a columnist could produce an enticing story– attracting a younger audience and to interest a demographic that would otherwise be scrolling through twitter, reading irrelevant, substance-less tweets. 


In general, I do think that people want to read opinionated pieces. They might not think they enjoy it, but people like having something to criticize, and VICE magazine gives their readership just that– controversial takes on controversial issues with great art, insight, and graphics.