Monday, December 17, 2007

Inspiration

Back in September, when writer Leslie Goldman interviewed me, she asked where I find inspiration for my blog posts. It's really not that hard--all I have to do is go about my day with open eyes and ears, and I'm sure to uncover some material.

One of my offices is directly across the street from department store mecca, Barneys. Ah, Barney's. . . I didn't choose the location of this office, but thoroughly enjoy the opportunity to, on my breaks, step outside and wander around some of my favorite floors.

Barney's, like most NYC department stores, recently unveiled its holiday windows. Each year, it seems, the department stores compete to showcase the most creative talent and ideas (with audio-visual representation to boot). This year, Barney's stepped out with a "Green Holiday" theme--store windows, oxymoronically juxtaposed in midtown Manhattan, promote keeping our earth green. A visit to the Barney's website reveals the store's larger mission: "Gorgeous green gifts, fabulously fair-trade fashion, sensationally sustainable swag, orgasmic organic denim and cashmere, environmentally conscious tchotchkes of all descriptions and philanthropic gestures to warm the cockles of your heart." Now, who's gonna discount that?

So, why I ask, does one of the windows look like this?



How is this consistent with having a "Green Holiday"? Now, I know, I might be jumping to conclusions, as some of you have pointed out. Perhaps this lovely, headless woman, replete with splayed, cleverly lit legs, is, simply, strengthening her core. Perhaps she's an accomplished yogi, who takes her practice outdoors, under still-green foliage, thus integrating the "Green Holiday" theme. Perhaps.

But, when one asks how I find inspiration for my posts, I answer that I only have to step outdoors, with camera-phone in hand, to gather material for my writing, to warm the cockles of my heart.

22 comments:

Sarah said...

She's very shiny.

KateHarding said...

Oh, man, that's awful. I don't even have words.

Anonymous said...

Perhaps she fainted from all the fabulous clothes shopping?

PalmTreeChick said...

Ha ha, I like anon's comment. I might have to walk by that and check it out for myself. How weird.

On a different note, I read "cockles" quickly and thought it said "cockless." Ha!

Sarah said...

yeah, I thought it said "cookies," Palm. That says it all about me!

azusmom said...

Maybe she just found out she's pregnant, and is practicing for labor: hers will be a natural birth, in a green field with a doula and a lute player.

hexennacht said...

Perhaps she is fixing a leak under the sink!

PalmTreeChick said...

Ha Sarah!! That's funny.

æ said...

That's really horrifying, Dr. Stacey. Have you seen Jean Kilbourne's Killing Us Softly series? She talks about the connection between disembodied and battered women and sexuality in advertising. (So does Jackson Katz in his documentary Tough Guise, actually.) It's horrifying, that's the only way to put it.

And, I looked back at your last post and littlem did find the archive I was thinking of when I emailed you. Wow. I was touched all over again at how miss blue said she would start to consider how indirect messages about weight bombard us daily. Thanks for bringing a socially progressive message to us this week, Dr Stacey.

take care,
ae

ps22 said...

I'd like to think that she passed out after becoming aware of how ridiculous her window display is....

...but given that she is a product of this industry, I'm guessing she just collapsed because someone fitted her with those tacky pink shoes....

zubeldia said...

The first thing that came to mind, like ae, was the film 'Killing us softly'. My area of research examines the dynamic between representation, violence, and identity (I am being very vague to protect my identity) and this image, in it's hideous objectifying way, is horrifying on so many levels... wow, I dont know where to begin.

How awful. Really, it's horrifying - as ae suggests.

So sad.

Perhaps we can send the store emails en-masse to lodge our displeasure.

Zubeldia

Anonymous said...

oh, I totally thought it said cookies

Petiteyogini said...

Perhaps she is an exhausted environmental activist.

azusmom said...

I'm with Zubeldia. I think a mass e-mail is in order.

Beth said...

I'll just say what it really looks like. She's ready to have sex. I guess shopping at Barney's somehow gets you more sex. That's the only connection I can make, although it's not a "green" one.

Anonymous said...

Isn't that a christmas tree? I thought she might be changing a bulb or hanging an ornament under the tree. Seriously.

drstaceyny said...

I love all of your hypotheses--so funny! But, I have a beef to pick. . . such as, why would someone faint with her knees mid-air? C'mon anon. ; ) And, if she's fixing a leak or is exhausted from fighting environmental causes, same thing, lower the legs, relax. I like azuzmom's interpretation--great imagery.

Hi, ae--thanks to you and little m, I did find that post, and it reminded me what interesting point YOU had made abt oppression. I still feel like there's a famous quote out there, though--i.e., famous as in how your quote should be famous, but isn't just yet. ; )

I have seen the Killing Us Softly series. Powerful stuff. Maybe I can email Jean this post.

I would be willing to email Barney's unless someone else wants the job. I would especially like to use your alternate explanations for a zing of humor (on a very serious topic, of course).

Beth--sex? For real? Now, why would ppl want to see a woman without a head having sex???

Cockles, not cookies! Though, if my heart were to have cookies, they would be oatmeal-raisin, the chewy kind.

violet_yoshi said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
violet_yoshi said...

Seriously, it's like is porn even considered porn anymore. I mean, cause it's just everywhere you look these days it's what once was considered soft-core porn.

I don't know really what else to say. Just ick..maybe you should send the picture over to www.about-face.org. It'd be a good example of bad womanizing marketing.

*I removed this post before, cause I got the url for About-Face wrong.

Leslie@WeightingGame said...

This is so sad. I can just picture little boys and girls walking by the windows, staring at this, and the messages "women are faceless...women are just for sex...women can be attacked..." slowly burning themselves into their moldable minds. Not that I've ever shopped at Barney's, but this makes me positive I never will.

littlem said...

IMO, Leslie kind of nailed it.

*shudder*

Lora said...

I just stumbled across your blog...I'll have to read more. I will comment on the title of your book - I think it's VERY true that most women have an eating disorder. Maybe not in the extreme form of anorexia or bulimia - but we do all obsess over our weight which directly affects what we eat (or wish we hadn't eaten). One can't say "My disorder is worse than yours - therefore yours is not truly a disorder.." I truly believe the media has perverted our perception of the perfect body. Yes - we need to maintain a weight that is healthy - but we DON'T have to maintain a weight makes us a poster child for starving third world countries.

Good luck with your book. I'll be back to read more of your blog for sure.