The title page seems to recall 90’s era kids logos, like Super Mario Brothers, Looney Tunes, and other cartoons. I really like the implied allusion to the Kreayshawn element, a love of cartoon characters. Looking at the a few of the images, I feel this editorial is focusing on a certain type of woman: one who would wear a skin tight dress and platform heels while 8 months pregnant; or, would display her love of pops of yellow and Twix bars anywhere she went; or, would be a woman in a five-figure outfit changing a baby in a diner bathroom. I’m mildly enjoying how brilliantly ridiculous some of these images are.
I feel an intentional theme running through the shoot is overconsumption, perhaps by a perceived notion of the American poor. Mountain Dew, Ruffles, Lemonheads, and Doublemint gum (all American companies) adorn the borders of some pages, and junk food is commonly referred to as lower-class fare. In the image to the right, a woman poses in a diner with the words “deep fried” on the window behind her, in clothes that likely cost more than the diner’s rent. Is this a meant to ridicule excess, or is it saying something offensive about a certain type of person? I feel that “ghetto fabulous” culture and style or perhaps Jersey Shore may have been chosen as a jumping point for the images. For instance, the hair brings to mind Lil’ Kim’s heyday, yet its not presented in an obviously derogatory manner.
The magazine says that their inspirations for this shoot are the “messy” side of drag queen culture– think less Tyra Sanchez and more Dr. Frank-n-Furter, for example; Divine, drag queen and John Waters icon; and Paris is Burning, a film that explores drag culture. The way Vogue phrases “messy drags,” however, makes me cringe a bit. I do see the eye makeup in a lot of the shots as clearly a Divine influence, and I especially see the drag influence in the shot on the above right. However, RuPaul is also listed as an inspiration, but she’s one of the most pristine drag queens working today, firmly categorized as a glamour queen. And in Paris is Burning, a lot of the queens are as glamorous as RuPaul is. The ladies in this shoot have neck and facial tattoos, gold teeth, and wigs made of money.
Looking at the photos Joseph posted, my reaction is:
Nathalie Dolivo, a writer for the magazine’s blog, seems to think that since the Obamas are so fashion-forward, they serve as a public forum to inspire African Americans to dress more fashionably in 2012. First of all, lady, this is the fourth year of Barack’s term. You’re a little late with this intensely racist idea, aren’t you?
That’s not even the worst of it. Dolivo goes so far as to coin the term, and this hurts me to type it, “black-geoisie”. Now, we really should institute a “Sh-t Fashion Magazines Say” to add to the hundreds of others on YouTube. We have a wealth of material to work from. First we had Slave Earrings. Then we had the whole Rihanna, N*ggabitch debacle. To which Rihanna herself replied with a heartfelt “F*CK YOU”. And now this. It seems like American magazines are on their best behavior! Good work.