STATUS: I am well and I’m very apologetic for not being able to blog regularly this fall. I have a feeling I’ll know what my New Year’s Resolution will be….
What’s playing on the XM or iPod right now? WHEN YOU’VE GOT TROUBLE by Liz Longley
As a sophomore in college back in 1987, I’ll never forget the impact of seeing STILL KILLING US SOFTLY: ADVERTISING’S IMAGE OF WOMEN, a documentary by Jean Kilbourne.
I remember sitting there in my seat, stunned, mouth open, as Kilbourne analyzed example after example of ads that demeaned, sexualized, or minimized women by images used in advertising. She also pointed out the level of violence often depicted towards women in every day kinds of ads for fashion, perfume, food, you name it. Until that moment (despite thinking I had adequate critical analysis skills), I had never connected the dots. And after, I never saw an advertisement, a movie, or the world for that matter, in quite the same way.
And folks, this isn’t limited to the 80s (as evident by Kilbourne’s Killing Us Softly 4 which released in 2010). Today, models on Glamour and Vogue can easily have an inch or two airbrushed off their thighs so what everyday women are seeing in the cover picture is a level of body perfection that is literally not achievable naturally.
So last week when I was reading a blog article on YA cover trends by Rachel Stark on Trac Changes, it’s no wonder I had a moment of deja vu. She explores the obsession with elegance and death in young adult covers. She posits that the popularity of such covers might reflect teenage girls’ morbidity and that the images on the covers she spotlights, to paraphrase, present the idea that it is beautiful, dramatic and poetic to be dead. And the fact that these covers are popular with teen girls is a product of what she dubs “internalized misogyny.”
This is definitely an article worth reading and discussing.
And I’m rather happy to report that NLA does not have any young adult titles with dead girls on the covers. A small triumph I’m sure…
Now we do have covers with girls looking pensive and beautiful, girls kissing a boy or holding hands with a boy, and a girl dancing in fire (to name a few). But they are all happily alive.Tags: young adult