BCM110-Week 3

Our study of Media Arts teaches us that every image, every video and every form of art is interpreted differently by the individual and society, based on their own ideology and framework of knowledge. Thus, every individual has a different perspective of an image or idea.

With this week’s topic in mind, our own interpretation of images is being put to the test (and boy, do I have an image for you!).

Naturally, the grotesque concept of this image is enough to confront any woman, and my interpretation is no different. It is for this reason, that I have selected this controversial advertisement as my object of study.

The image itself is one in a series of images promoted as an advertisement for the ‘Beauty’ layout in Bulgarian fashion magazine ’12,’ and utilises the photograph of a beautiful woman, pictured in a ‘spotlight’ on a black backdrop accompanied by the words ‘Victim of Beauty.’

The controversial advertisement has been publicly shamed for its perceived message of glamorising ‘physical abuse’ and linking it to women’s use of makeup and fashion. Many critiques have interpreted this advertisement as accentuating the belief that sexual arousal and violence go hand-in-hand, which is what many audiences find hard to take. This is highlighted through the use of the woman’s posture and makeup, the head tilts and sultry eyes. Particularly the phrase ‘Victim of Beauty’ which further suggests that women are vulnerable and susceptible to abuse simply because they are deemed desirable and beautiful.

Ironically, the magazine responded to the negative reactions to the advertisement by stating that the shoot was designed to emphasise how fashion and beauty can be “seen through various angles…Where some see a brutal wound, others see a skillful work of an artist, or the exquisite face of a beautiful girl.” (Funny how this post targets the debate of varying interpretations of images, whilst the magazine claims just that in response to their photo shoot.)

Yes, it is true that individuals will interpret images differently, however with a such a controversial topic such as physical abuse and domestic violence, to caption this ideal and utilise it to sell products or magazines, is abhorrent.

Meg xo


9 thoughts on “BCM110-Week 3”

  1. Great analysis of this unique and controversial image! I love how you described the denotations of the image through the vulnerability of the woman in stating, “the woman’s posture and makeup, the head tilts and sultry eyes”. When I was unravelling the image to further understand the meaning behind it, I did not initially connect the relationship between sexual arousal and violence. Instead I noticed the brutal connection between beauty and violence.

    Additionally, in response to your comment about how individuals interpret images differently to one another based on their own ideologies, I suggest reading the following article: http://fashionista.com/2012/06/editors-at-12-magazine-defend-their-beauty-editorial-featuring-brutally-injured-women. This further explores different opinions and perspectives in response to the editorial and how individuals may view this image in a different light. It allowed me to understand how people may view this image as a beautiful piece of artwork, rather than just an editorial “glamourising domestic violence”.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. I really liked this blog post Megan! You summarized the content quite well, and selected a perfectly complex image. Perhaps you could have gone into more depth about different interpretations, rather than just the negative connotations. I think that the magazine probably used such a controversial image to attract more media coverage. While I agree that these pictures are problematic, one could also interpret them as showing the ugly side of beauty – the lengths that we go to in order to be beautiful, and the pressure to meet such unrealistic standards. These images use physical harm to show the inner damage caused by ‘’beauty’’. The great thing about this topic is that everyone’s interpretations are equally valid. Keep up the good work!

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Great post! When we were shown this image in class, no one really knew what to this of it because at first glance, its a bit shocking. You’ve analysed such a complex image well though! One of the more abstract thoughts I had about this image was that it could be either an advertisement or artwork showcasing the use of a type of beauty product or special effects makeup. This article: http://www.readingthepictures.org/2012/06/the-victim-of-beauty-buzz-more-glamour-of-violence/ shows more photos from the set showing even more gruesome injuries than the one above. Whatever the artist intended, they have created quite a stir!

    Liked by 1 person

  4. This post is wonderful, clear to read and gives great information on the topic of images having hidden meaning. This photo is confronting however it also pulls in the reader, leading individuals to read the blog (that’s why l read it, it looked interesting). I like how you took a controversial advertisement and explained the deeper meaning and the back lash it caused. My blog is similar as in it also explores a controversial advertisement, however it is more aimed at males being the superior gender. I loved this blog, for me it didn’t only inform me on the advertisement but it also sparked an emotional response. Thanks for sharing!

    Liked by 1 person

  5. Very insightful blog post! It was an amazing read and an amazing analysis of such a controversial image. You depicted the image well and stated a not so obvious interpretation of the image. I think you could have used more than just the interpretation you saw and then also possibly the more obvious one people would lean towards which would be beauty and violence and then explain how it is more than just beauty but its sexual arousal and how it denotes with violence.
    Otherwise it was really insightful and opened my eyes up and helped me to see more than what is on the page

    Liked by 1 person

  6. I really like your work. you were able to show how the advertisement that is shown to the audience i.e. us, aren’t always right. The idea of abusing women for her appearance isn’t a right thing and the way the image has been represented I must say, you dig in lots of facts to prove your point. It was really an amazing time to read a blog as yours cause you were able to do the correct analysis of the image. the image is too complex and you decode the image very well.

    Liked by 1 person

  7. Really great blog post! You made it very clear and easy to read as well as having formatted the advertisement large and at the top. This made it intriguing and I automatically wanted to read more. You’ve perceived the image in the way that is obvious to viewers, that ultimately, beauty is pain. Women are made to think that they must go above and beyond to look a certain way to be accepted by society and the attracted sex, and you’ve clearly portrayed that in this blog post. Just like courtney61 said in her comment, it not only informed me on the advertisement but it also sparked an emotional response. Great blog post.

    Liked by 1 person

  8. I love this blog post so much!
    I love the fact you have inserted the links into the actual words instead of using numbers as I have done myself.
    This blog also gave me a lot of inspiration for my writing due to what was being talked about. I find this matter very essential in today’s society when people will judge themselves based on how they look.
    I loved how you linked the advert to sexual arousal and violence, not something I would have personally thought of!
    The only thing I didn’t like was that the image was after a paragraph of writing but that is my own preference and I can tell it went with the layout you established.
    Overall, very good job! 😀

    Liked by 1 person

  9. Hey Megan,

    What a shocking image! With such a stigma surrounding domestic violence I totally agree with your assessment that glamorising abuse to sell products is not ok. On the other hand maybe what needs to happen is conversation regarding domestic violence in order to help remove the stigma and shocking images such as this one have the potential to start those conversations. Your analysis of the image was very in depth and well structure. I looked this campaign up and found other just as disturbing photoshoots of women beaten [http://www.readingthepictures.org/2012/06/the-victim-of-beauty-buzz-more-glamour-of-violence/] and I just can’t understand how the company thought using abused women as the signifiers of the advertisement was a good idea

    Ash x

    Liked by 1 person

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