Last week we posted an editorial that appeared in 12 magazine called “Victim of Beauty”, featuring close-up shots of perfectly made-up models sporting horrendous wounds and injuries. When I saw it, I had an immediate reaction: disgust, shock, and “Why?!” We knew it was going to cause a lot of debate, as it did in our office when we first saw it.
Our commenters tried to figure out what the editors were trying to say, too, and their thoughtful and mature responses made for a really colorful discussion. Some examples:
Hann Fay: Again… Editorial piece! you can say or judge whatever you think, that’s the way to provoke people to catch attention… Amazing the make-up done, hurray to the artist, will be sought for ? ? ? special effects, thriller, etc….. !
Kristen May Lee:Yup whoever did this shoot hates women…
Lindsey Schuyler: Why do you automatically jump to domestic violence? Why assume women can’t get injured on their own? I think it’s a really interesting shoot, the contrast of what can be done with makeup is pretty amazing, it’s like two worlds of special effects colliding.
Alison Meldrum: This is appalling. Increasingly, violence is being ‘normalised’ in teen relationships to an alrming extent without this kind of stuff.
Most commenters didn’t love the images, but didn’t necessarily think they were meant to promote violence. A lot attempted to find the symbolism in the word “victim” and I think Jenna Sauers at Jezebel said it best:
This empty idea of the fashion consumer as fashion victim — of the stupid Vogue-reading woman too alienated from her own best interests to realize that cosmetics and designers clothes are nothing but frivolous distractions from the important stuff — is of course what 12 is punning on. “Ha ha,” says the spread, “What if women were literally victims of beauty?” Eye roll. If we finally got rid of the idea that fashion is for victims, maybe we’d see fewer victimized women in fashion magazines.
So what WERE 12‘s editors trying to say with this editorial? They reached out to us yesterday to try to explain.