Wednesday, June 25, 2014

"Bellwether": sexist art at Bellevue City Hall

Junichiro Iwase's "Moonwalker 5." Couldn't find a less tiny version of this picture, so enjoy how blurry it is blown up.
"Bellwether" is Bellevue's biennial sculpture exhibition; right now, art is displayed all over the city. This pair of eggshelled mannequins, created by artist Junichiro Iwase, is installed at Bellevue City Hall. If a bellwether is something that leads others, or shows what will happen in the future, evidently art will continue its trend of sexism and the exploitation of female bodies.

As a disclaimer, I will say that this installation was initially aesthetically pleasing to me. The eggshell texture is cool, and for some reason disfigured mannequins always seem "artsy." But the more I look at these mannequins, the more pissed off I get. Why is the female mannequin almost entirely covered in eggshells, except for her tits?? (And her one, lonely arm, which I assume is there to make sandwiches or give handjobs or vacuum, amirite?)

I am so obviously not a prude, and that's not what this is about at all. If both the mannequins were flaunting some sexualized body part, I'd be like, "Neat," and I'd move on with my day. But that's not the case. The male mannequin's "modesty" is entirely clothed in shells; he has nothing equally titillating on display. (I went around the back of the mannequins just to make sure he wasn't secretly wearing cheeky eggshell chaps or something. Sadly, he is not.)

Here's what this art is saying to me: the body parts not covered by their fragile eggshell armor represent strength. So a woman's strength is in her sexuality, while a man's strength is in his literal strength, his muscles (arms and legs).

I know that art rejects "shoulds," and rightfully so, but I thought it was part of art's job or goal to challenge the status quo, not reinforce sexist cliches and gender roles.

Tuesday, June 17, 2014

Stitch Fix #10

See Stitch Fix #1#2#3#4#5#6#7#8, #9
Would you like to try Stitch Fix? Sure you would! (Thank you for the Fix credit!)
Check out my Stitch Fix style inspiration board.

I've reached a Stitch Fix milestone: the tenth box! Was it the magical culmination of all the reviews and input I'd given after each of the nine boxes that came before, as you might expect?
Spoiler alert: no.
Special requests: I asked them to try for boyfriend jeans again, and I mentioned that I was headed to Paris and needed stylish, travel-friendly clothing.

Here's the note from my stylist, Lisa:

All I had today in the way of boyfriend jeans is a pair of "not-distressed" Mavi Gold jeans. Wear these jeans cuffed on your trip with the U.S.A. made light pink Market and Spruce Ikat print pocket-front knit shirt and a pair of flats or heeled sandals. Other alternatives are to wear the pants with the blue Daniel Rainn snake print cross-front hi-lo bouse or the Daniel Rainn Swiss Dot & Floral Tie-Neck Blouse and a pair of blue flats. Let them know where you're from with the red, white and blue, American made Gilli striped maxi dress which you can wear with heeled sandals in Paris! Let me know how this fix works out in Paris! Have fun trying these on!

1. Gilli "Amie" striped belted maxi dress, $74



I laughed when I read the bit in the note about this dress: "Let them know where you're from with the red, white and blue...striped maxi dress.." Firstly, the French flag is also red, white, and blue - in stripes, no less! Secondly, the last thing I want to cop to when I'm in France is being an overly patriotic, "freedom fries"-type American tourist.

If this dress looks good on me in the pictures, it's only because I'm so damn good at posing. It highlighted my less pleasing curves in an unfortunate way. I was also annoyed that the stripes were only on the front of the dress.

Verdict: returned.

2. Market and Spruce "Elaine" Ikat print pocket-front knit shirt, $48


Before I tried this on, I figured it would be the one thing I'd keep. In the picture, it looks pretty and comfortable. But in person, it's just kind of boring, and the print is a noxious combination of salmon and grey. I think I also just don't like Ikat that much.


Verdict: returned.

3. Mavi Gold "Rider" boyfriend jean, $128


These jeans hated me.


The feeling was mutual.

Verdict: returned.

4. Daniel Rainn "Wayne" swiss dot & floral tie-neck blouse, $68



I briefly considered keeping this shirt, but it squeezed me in weird places (the sleeves mostly) and I kind of felt like one of my mother's 1970s Barbies (they would have looked much better in it, especially Ken).

Verdict: returned.

5. Daniel Rainn "Drake" snake print cross-front blouse, $68

Usually I avoid things like cross-front blouses and snake print. Snake print looks tacky to me most of the time, and the cross-front blouse thing had not been working for me, so I was surprised to like this shirt.


It still needed more of a nipped in waist, though, and I wasn't willing to pay $48 more ($68 - $20 deposit) for a pricey shirt I didn't love.


Verdict: returned.

So there you have it. The first box to have everything sent back.

Friday, June 6, 2014

Spokane Wedding

I'm so behind on posting, I know! But May was a busy month. I went to Nashville and to my stepsister's wedding in Spokane (the subject of this post) and I'm already on my way again to a new place (France!), so I'll probably stay behind for a while. But I can at least post some nice pictures.

My stepsister, Lauren, got married to Gabe Memorial Day weekend in a family member's backyard. (The term "backyard" is a bit of a misnomer; it was actually a gigantic field.) It was a really nice weekend and a lovely wedding. I was one of the unofficial wedding photographers, which was a fun honor for me.

Lauren gets ready!





Gabe and Lauren wanted to light a unity candle, but Lauren had never struck a match before..? I think. It was hard to understand. But all the groomsmen tried to help. It was cute.




Lauren and Gabe got their engagement rings tattooed on their ring fingers.










After dinner, I hid in the field.

The coconut-covered bars are lamington, a popular Australian dessert (because Lauren's mom, my stepmother, is Australian, Lauren loves them).

Taite enjoys a cupcake and Dad is very proud.





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