Indian Women Teach Us All Feminism

In the wake of the horrific gang rape (*tw) that resulted in a young woman’s death last week in India, major protests have been going on, in the face of police violence, in spite of a justice system stacked against the women… In protest after protest women are standing up to the violence against them. I have no words to describe how I feel reading about this and seeing the images, I am in awe of them, and I don’t understand why we all aren’t out in the street right now. Really lacking the words, so here are some pictures.

See more amazing pictures of protests and vigils

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François Brunelle’s “I am not a look-alike” Doppelganger Series

Canadian photographer François Brunelle photographed a series of people who look uncannily alike. His subjects are not related, and are in fact total strangers. The series, photographed in countries around the world, is entitled, ‘I’m Not a Look-Alike!’, and is the result of the photographer’s obsession with the idea that everyone on earth has a doppelganger.

Not all the pairings were successful in my view, but some are OMG quality. Here’s a sampling.

Francois Brunelle Dopplegangers

Francois Brunelle Look-Alike

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Dopplegangers

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Plus-Sized Lady Mocks American Apparel’s XL Model Contest – And WINS!

This post I’m reblogging was from about a year ago, but I just discovered it today, and now I’m in feminist love with Nancy Upton!!

Here is American Apparel’s sore loser response:

“It’s a shame that your project attempts to discredit the positive intentions of our challenge based on your personal distaste for our use of light-hearted language, and that “bootylicous” was too much for you to handle. While we may be a bit TOO inspired by Beyoncé, and do have a tendency to occasionally go pun-crazy, we try not to take ourselves too seriously around here. I wonder if you had taken just a moment to imagine that this campaign could actually be well intentioned, and that my team and I are not out to offend and insult women, would you have still behaved in the same way, mocking the confident and excited participants who put themselves out there?”

“Oh—and regarding winning the contest, while you were clearly the popular choice, we have decided to award the prizes to other contestants that we feel truly exemplify the idea of beauty inside and out, and whom we will be proud to have representing our company.”

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After the story hit the blogosphere, Nancy and the friend who photographed her were invited to tour American Apparel’s plant and meet with the team who created the contest. You can read about it in her
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American Apparel’s XL modeling contest ended yesterday. There was a clear leader in the contest, but she was actually making fun of American Apparel’s belittling view of plus-sized models. Here are her entry photos.

American Apparel’s “THE NEXT BIG THING” (Emphasis on big, if you will.)

Think you are the Next BIG Thing?
Calling curvy ladies everywhere! Our best-selling Disco Pant (and around 10 other sexy styles) are now available in size XL, for those of us who need a little extra wiggle room where it counts. We’re looking for fresh faces (and curvaceous bods) to fill these babies out. If you think you’ve got what it takes to be the next XLent model, send us photos of you and your junk to back it up. Just send us two recent photographs of yourself, one that clearly shows your face and one of your body. We’ll select a winner to be flown out to our Los Angeles headquarters to star in your own bootylicious photoshoot. Runners up will win an enviable assortment of our favorite new styles in XL! Show us what you’re workin’ with!
 via Jezebel

From her tumblr: “My name is Nancy Upton. I’m a size 12 and wanted to show American Apparel my fresh face (and full figure). My good friend Shannon Skloss came over to take some “booty-ful” photos of me… but I just couldn’t stop eating.”

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Plus-Sized Lady Mocks American Apparel’s XL Model Contest.

Unlikely Animal Friendships

I’m in the mood for some stuff that makes me feel good! 

(Stay tuned for more overly cute animal pictures coming soon…)

Cow-Leopard

The leopard crept through the sugar cane on an October night in 2002, and found a cow tied in a field, the way villagers keep their livestock in this dusty farming community. The cat didn’t harm the cow, but villagers worried about its predatory instincts, since they, too, were sometimes in the fields at night. They asked the Forest Department to remove the leopard  to a wildlife sanctuary nearby.

And so the trappers came, and soon found themselves observers of an unexpected interaction. The cat returned to the area nightly, but not as a predator. Instead, she came to be embraced. She approached the cow tentatively, rubbed her head against the cow’s head, then settled against her body. The cow would lick the cat, starting with her head and neck, cleaning whatever she could reach as the cat wriggled in apparent delight. If the cow was asleep when the leopard arrived, the visitor would gently awaken her with a nuzzle to the leg before lying down and pressing close. Other cattle stood nearby, but the leopard ignored them. The chosen cow seemed pleased to give the leopard her nightly bath. For almost two months the cat showed up around eight in the evening and cuddled with the cow until the first hint of sunrise.
The cat stayed away for several weeks. Then on the last night the animals were seen together, the leopard visited nine times before wandering away from her friend for good. Rohit Vyas suggests that the leopard had been young and motherless when it first strayed into the village, using agricultural fields as a pathway from a distant forest. The leopard sought the cow’s warmth for a time, but once she reached adulthood, her need for motherly affection diminished. She moved on. Even with such a plausible explanation, “This relationship was unimaginable,” says Rohit. “We were all spellbound by it. Who would expect a carnivore and hunter like a leopard to show love and affection toward its prey?” ♥
Source – The Times Of India & Unlikely Friendships
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Cat-Birds

Nimra, a one-year-old cat, plays with chicks in Amman (2007). Nimra took care of seven chicks after their mother’s death.

Frog-Mouse

Mouse rides on the back of a frog in floodwaters in the northern Indian city of Lucknow

Monkey-Dog

A monkey sleeps next to a dog at Lacor camp for internally displaced persons in northern Uganda

Tiger-Pigs


 

 

 

A tiger cub climbs over piglets at a park in Guangzhou, south China’s Guangdong. The tiger cub was abandoned by its mother and was raised by a sow.

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Auan, a seven-year-old female cat,
licks the body of Jeena, a three-year-old male mouse, at a farmer’s house in Phichit, north of Bangkok. Auan found Jeena three years before the photo (2002) and has been his playmate and protector, including warding off dogs, since then.

Dina Goldstein’s “In The Dollhouse”

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My favorite photographer of the day, Dina Goldstein, features her latest project, which follows B, a “superdoll” and K, her partner in their home life…

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That’s just a teaser. Check out the whole story line on the project site.

(And if you missed it, check out the post about the project through which I discovered Goldstein, Fallen Princesses.)

Dina Goldstein’s Fallen Princesses

If you followed my blog in its earlier days, you know what I think about young girls’ increasing obsession with princesses, and how Disney Princesses distort their image and expectations of themselves, of life, of relationships, of their sexuality… Everything.

SnowySnowy ~

That’s why I was so thrilled to discover Dina Goldstein, my favorite photographer (today). I saw her Snow White photograph from her Fallen Princesses series on Facebook, sans credit as is common there. Today I finally put together the name with the photography, and what a discovery that was!

Here is Goldstein’s description of the project and some of the pictures from the series, but I truly recommend you browse her website. It’s gorgeous.

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“These works place Fairy Tale characters in modern day scenarios. In all of the images the Princess is placed in an environment that articulates her conflict. The ‘…happily ever after’ is replaced with a realistic outcome and addresses current issues.
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The project was inspired by my observation of three-year-old girls, who were developing an interest in Disney’s Fairy tales.  As a new mother I have been able to get a close up look at the phenomenon of young girls fascinated with Princesses and their desire to dress up like them.  The Disney versions almost always have sad beginning, with an overbearing female villain, and the end is predictably a happy one.  The Prince usually saves the day and makes the victimized young beauty into a Princess.
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Rapunzel1As a young girl, growing up abroad, I was not exposed to fairy tales. These new discoveries lead to my fascination with the origins of Fairy tales. I explored the original Brothers Grimm stories and found that they have very dark and sometimes gruesome aspects, many of which were changed by Disney. I began to imagine Disney’s perfect Princesses juxtaposed with real issues affecting women around me, such as illness, addiction and self-image issues.

See my other Dina Goldstein post: In The Dollhouse.