Opinion Blog: The Sexualization of Women in Magazines

May 18, 2011 by · 2 Comments 

Posted by Meg Jones
mpjones@mail.smu.edu

I live in a sorority house at Southern Methodist University with weekly and monthly subscriptions to Vogue, Cosmopolitan, Us Weekly, and Glamour.

My sorority sisters and I flip through the pages of women’s fashion and gossip magazines, but how many of us are taking a closer look at the message that magazines are sending to their readers?

Magazine content responds to popular demand and is a reflection of American culture, but it also contributes to it.

The pages of women’s fashion and gossip magazines perpetuate a hyper sexualized ideal standard of beauty for women.

Through these messages women are taught to believe that if they work hard enough and spend enough money they can attain this culturally determined, hegemonic vision of beauty.

With a constant influx of images of the sex goddess, fashion and beauty magazines contribute to the sexualization of women by permeating sexualized representations of women and girls, suggesting that being thin and beautiful is the cultural norm.

According to the report by the American Psychological Association task force on the sexualization of girls, sexualization occurs when a person’s value comes only from his or her sexual appeal or behavior, to the exclusion of other characteristics.This leads to sexual objectification—that is, made into a thing for other’s sexual use, rather than seen as a person with the capacity for independent action and decision making.

Media images of female beauty not only influence how women feel about themselves, but also how men feel about women. There is a distorted reality in what men see in the media as opposed to the real women in their lives.

The high-dollar and never-ending consumerism needed to pursue the “Barbie body” is a mindset instilled in young girls that remains with them when they become women.

Advertising in magazines sells women products by selling them the idea that they can and should achieve physical perfection to have value in our culture.

More often than not, images in magazines have been altered. Computer retouching has become a primary technique used by advertisers and before photographs are published, they are digitally retouched to make the models appear perfect.

Although magazine content does not directly cause or effect body image problems, someone who is predisposed to the behavior may be pushed toward unhealthy diet and exercise routines by reading fashion and beauty magazines.

“Bill Cunningham New York” Is A Fashionable Delight

April 20, 2011 by · 2 Comments 

By Caroline Foster
cfoster@smu.edu

The official movie poster for "Bill Cunningham New York" featuring NYC's finest - and fashionable.

The documentary “Bill Cunningham New York” follows The New York Times fashion and party photographer as he leads his extraordinary yet unique life. Every morning, rain or snow, clouds or sun, Cunningham navigates his bicycle through the busy streets of New York City with a camera around his neck ready to take pictures.

He focuses on what people are wearing, from a hat to a shoe and everything in between. He looks for the out of ordinary fashion, not the typical “cookie cutter” looks many New Yorkers wear. Cunningham takes pictures quickly and unobtrusively which are then displayed in the style section in the Sunday edition of The New York Times.

For all his photo-snapping in public, Cunningham is a very private person. He has few friends except for those in the business. Light is shed on his personal life and what his family thought of his foray into the fashion industry. Those who work with Cunningham as well as many people who have been featured in his photographs are interviewed in the film. Their anecdotes and accolades about the man behind the lens paint the picture of a genuine person who has dedicated his life to his work.

Cunningham’s sweet disposition and humble attitude make the film extremely enjoyable and uplifting to watch. To see a man who lives amongst countless file cabinets filled with negatives of his old photos in a small corner apartment in Carnegie Hall adds to the unique story of Cunningham. Whether you have an interest in style or not, Cunningham’s dedication to his work is something we can all admire.

Inspiring – that’s the one word to describe this fashion documentary. An 80-year-old man who is as passionate about his work today as he was fifty years ago is remarkable. As college students it’s hard to decide what to eat for breakfast, let alone a passion to pursue for the rest of our lives. But Bill Cunningham is a remarkable and endearing example of the centuries old quote by Confucius “Do what you love and you’ll never work a day in your life.”

“Bill Cunningham New York” is currently showing at the Angelika Dallas in Mockingbird Station. This is a limited engagement so see it while it’s here!

The Academy Awards’ Red Hot Red Carpet Ends Award Season With a Bang

February 28, 2011 by · 1 Comment 

By Caroline Foster
cfoster@smu.edu

The red carpet was buzzing with glamorous ladies at the 83rd Annual Academy Awards on Sunday night. Hollywood’s top actresses ruled the red carpet in bold colors and shimmery sequins.

The color of the night was red. From Oscar newbie Jennifer Lawrence’s red body hugging Calvin Klein Collection dress to Sandra Bullock’s strapless Vera Wang number, bold was definitely better last night. The award show host, Anne Hathaway strutted down the red carpet in a radiant red Valentino gown with red lips and nails to match.

Other leading ladies continued to prove that color on the carpet definitely works. Academy Award winner Natalie Portman showed off her pregnancy bump in a wine colored dress by Rodarte. Another star who chose the deep purple hue was Scarlett Johansson. She wore a lace Dolce & Gabbana gown with an open back, proving that even without Ryan Reynolds on her arm she can still look amazing. Mila Kunis continued the lace trend in a lilac Elie Saab Haute Couture dress.

Tangerine was the choice for newly slim Jennifer Hudson, while Amy Adams chose blue. Fourteen-year-old Hailee Steinfeld was pretty in a pale pink Marchesa tea-length dress with a full tulle skirt.

Neutrals were anything but basic when livened up by feathers and sequins à la Hilary Swank. The Oscar Winner wore a Gucci gown that glittered with metallic sequins and had an ombre feather skirt. The always-stunning Halle Berry complimented her skin tone in a nude Marchesa dress with sequins and a tulle train.

Gwenyth Paltrow took the glitz to a whole new level in her simple silhouette Calvin Klein Collection dress. The pale-gold shimmery gown reflected the light beautifully. Her sleek hair completed the head-turning look.

Leave it to Reese Witherspoon to show us classic combinations will never go out of style. The Hollywood starlet wore a black and white strapless Giorgio Armani Privé gown. Her high blonde ponytail and emerald Neil Lane earrings evoked the feeling of a vintage Barbie doll.

The stars were out to shine last night, ending award show season with a bang.

Campus News Blog: How To Cut Fashionable Bangs At Home?

November 3, 2010 by · Comments Off 

Posted by Petya Kertikova

Fashionable women always play with their hair. Either short or long, bangs or no bangs, ladies want their look to be according to the latest hair style.

When we want to look different, one way to achieve that goal is to have bangs. Just like celebrities always change their hair style, ordinary women also want to keep up with their fashion role models.

For instance, one of the well known female models, Kate Moss , said that she cut her bangs with kitchen scissors.

In order to have cool looking bangs, women are not necessarily required to go to a hair salon. Just like Moss, females can be creative and successfully get that dream hair look, if they are brave enough.

In general though, women don’t have the courage to do crazy things with their hair, but sometimes the results coud be amazing.

At least once in our lifetime we should let our immagination dictate our actions. Who knows we might like it.

Campus News Blog: Are Our Boots Well Balanced?

October 29, 2010 by · Comments Off 

Posted by Petya Kertikova

As autumn approaches, women are going crazy buying boots and booties. The designer stores at the malls are full with shoes in general, which can satisfy even the most caprice lady, but are they well balanced, fashionable enough, but most importantly, are they comfortable?

In order for our boots to be well balanced, we need to look for some very important criteria when we are purchasing those babies we all are walking in.

First of all, the heel should be made of wood. Now, some ladies might argue over this crucial fact because of the broad understanding that a wood heel might injure our feet, but we can’t forget that what matters is what the inside of the boot is made of.

Also, the material used for making a certain shoe can make the feeling of wearing it very different. Leather is the perfect example.

Now, all you need to do is go to the mall and buy your new favorite boots. And don’t forget to look for those two important qualities.

Have fun!

Fashion Blog: Wondering to do with your old fur coats?

October 21, 2010 by · Comments Off 

Posted by Petya Kertikova

At least once a while, everyone asks himself or herself if it is worth it to keep old and out of fashion clothes, including expensive fur coats that we used to love.

The first thing you should know is that what was fashionable before will fashionable again at some point in time.

Second, furs can always be put to use again in order to satisfy your needs during the winter. As the article is pointing out, it is not right to throw away furs, the production of which sacrificed perhaps thousands of animals.

Also, if the coats were a gift from someone, you should keep them out of respect for the person’s act of kindness towards you.

Now, knowing those basic tips for what to do with your fur coats, you can make them work in your favor. Don’t forget to weigh all of your choices and, and good luck picking the best one!

Fashion Blog: How Fashionable is it to Wear a Hat at School?

October 5, 2010 by · Comments Off 

Posted by Petya Kertikova

It is true that fashion always changes, but it is also true that some accessories will live forever. Well, hats are definitely among the popular and useful belongings of one woman.

According to CollegeFashion.net, wearing a hat at school can make you more than stylish. And yet, you can play around with the hat and create your own desirable look.

There is no doubt a big impact of celebrities’ fashion on young people. It is a proven fact that people get the courage to wear something exotic and unusual when someone else did it first. It is like that with the hat fashion.

As the article suggests, girls need to be more brave with their fashion choices in order their imaginations to follow their dreams.

The article also gives some great tips of how to put together an entire outfit in a way to match our hat.
So, students, check out the newest fashion style and wear your hat without feeling stupid!

Fashion’s Night Out Hits Highland Park Village

September 13, 2010 by · 1 Comment 

By Caroline Foster
cfoster@smu.edu

The tree-lined sidewalks of high-end shopping center Highland Park Village were busier than usual on Friday night. Empty parking spots were scarce as shoppers roamed from store to store with their hands full, carrying glasses of champagne, balloons, and shopping bags.

This was the scene of the second annual Fashion’s Night Out festivities taking place at Highland Park Village. Over 20 stores participated in the event, each store celebrating fashion in its own way.

Anthropologie had live music from 6-8 p.m. as well as hors d’oeuvres and artisan chocolatier, Stephen Smith, on hand. Smith brought three different varieties of his Nib Chocolates that complemented the fall clothes. He said, “My chocolates are artsy and fashion oriented.” The shoppers enjoyed eating the sweets while scouring the racks of ruffled sweaters, sweetly printed blouses, and eye-catching accessories.

At Scoop the staff promoted Genetic Denim while a DJ played energizing music for the crowd. The Carolina Herrera store installed a photo booth for the event that instantly printed black and white photos of each participating guest. The new Christian Louboutin store was packed as guests viewed brand new shoes premiering just for the event.

A few doors down, Los Angeles based knitwear store, Vince, hosted a party featuring photographer David Woo’s new coffee table book about Dallas celebrities and their dogs. Attendees along with their pampered pooches walked around the store eyeing sweaters as music played and drinks were poured.

Vince Store manager Stacy Gibbons said, “It’s fun to shop in a different environment.” This fun shopping atmosphere seems to be exactly what Vogue’s Anna Wintour and Diane Von Furstenberg of The Council of Fashion Designers of America had in mind when they, along with the City of New York initiated Fashion’s Night Out in 2009.

The event was started when the economy was slow and people were not shopping as much as they had during past seasons. Vogue and CFDA worked in New York City to create an event that put the fun back in shopping, while also helping the economy.

The date was set on September 10th and stores all over New York City and the country participated in the event. This year many other cities around the world including Madrid and London decided to join the fun making the event bigger than ever.

Gibbons is not surprised by the expansion because of the millions of fashion devotees around the world. Gibbons said, “It’s viral this year, people want to support something they love.” Dallas fully supported the endeavor as stores such as Stanley Korshak, Forty Five Ten, Barney’s, and Neiman Marcus stayed open late for the night.

Love for fashion is exactly what Fashion’s Night Out is all about. This doesn’t just apply to the fashion elite – Fashion’s Night Out is an event for everyone to enjoy. The crowd at Highland Park Village is a perfect example: pre-teens wearing their graphic printed Fashion Night Out t-shirts took pictures in the photo booth as older couples waited behind them.

Long-time Dallas residents Olga and Rob Levin said the concept of Fashion’s Night Out was remarkable, and they planned to visit almost all of the events Highland Park Village had to offer, citing Tory Burch and Jimmy Choo at the top of their hit list. Mr. Levin joked, “I’m taking back the credit card.”

Fashion’s Night Out at Highland Park Village added extra excitement to the area on a rather ordinarily warm Friday night. It was obvious that guests were delighted to be a part of such a large event promoting a common love. Judging from the great amount of shopping bags and smiling faces, the event was a success.

Gallery: Fashion’s Night Out at Saks Fifth Ave.

September 12, 2010 by · Comments Off 

By Jefferson Johnson
jwjohnson@smu.edu

Saks Fifth Avenue in the Dallas Galleria hosted its annual three-story store-wide fashion extravaganza Friday evening in celebration of Fashion’s Night Out. The event had several stations to peak any student’s interest, from hairstyling and makeup stations to a fun caricature station. The event also hosted gourmet chefs and professional, local models to mingle and greet the crowds of shoppers.

The event had something for everyone and the best part was the courtesy and enthusiasm to shoppers from Saks Fifth Avenue. Missed the fun because you were too busy celebrating at NorthPark? Don’t worry Mustangs, there’s always next year.

(PHOTOS BY JEFFERSON JOHNSON / SMU DAILY MUSTANG)

Posted by Elizabeth Lowe
elowe@smu.edu

Arts Blog: Fashion’s Night Out Review

September 11, 2010 by · Comments Off 

By Kyle Spencer
kspencer@smu.edu

G-L-A-M-O-R-O-U-S. That is the only word that can describe last night’s Fashion’s Night Out soiree. Hosted by a plethora of Dallas retailers, shops and department stores around the area went all out providing patrons with wine, champagne and mini appetizers.

The atmosphere at NorthPark Center was club chic, as Dallas DJs played mixes of 80′s pop infused with urban hip-hop. Trendsetting Fashion’s Night Out apparel and tote bag were sold with proceeds going to the New York AIDS fund, so your average shopper could feel good about spending a little green. I attended the Barneys New York and Nordstrom’s parties, taking note of what the two high-end stores had in store for fall fashion. Gentlemen: get ready to serve your country. Army fatigues and military inspired apparel makes a a forefront to fall trends. Ladies you can also be “all that you can be” with a similarly styled military look. Think knee-high boots, aviators, and a naval blazers.

Now this blogger understands that not everybody spends their paycheck getting the latest fall designer digs, Evidently there is this thing called food we have to eat, so here’s some advice from Nordstrom’s stylists Manuel Carrasquel and A.J. Narsutis on some essentials that can help any junior fashionista be hip and in style.

Men, make sure your closet is well equipped with a clean button down white shirt. Dressed up or dressed down, this item can be used to anchor the rest of your wardrobe. Another must have is a navy suit. A dark suit will help you with that job interview you’ve been wanting or that last minute wedding you have to get to. A classic suit will pay for itself the moment you slip it on. Don’t forget your dark denim. Dark denim jeans are a fashion necessity. Try Levi-Strauss red-label. It’s classic, trendy and American.

Now it’s the lady’s turn. The little black dress is a no-brainer for the fashion-forward woman. Make sure it accentuates what you want shown and hides what you don’t. A nice dark denim is another item no woman can live without. A dark bootcut jean can make the legs look longer giving off a sleek silhouette. Platform heels are a hit this season and if you get that bonus at work go ahead and splurge with a pair of Christian Louboutins. All these items and more can be found at the Shops at NorthPark Center.

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