Category Archives: critical perspective

Bibliography for the essay

Bibliography
Books
Bordo,S, ‘Unbearable weight’, University of California Press, 2003.
Childs,K, ‘Ain’t I a woman’, Benchmark Education Company, 2007.
Rogers,M,F, ‘Barbie culture’, SAGE Publications Ltd., 1999.
Toffoletti,K, ‘Cyborgs and Barbie dolls’, I.B.Tauris & Co Ltd, 2007.
Wolf,N, ‘The beauty myth’, Vintage, 1991.
Websites
http://emedicine.medscape.com/article/912187-overview
http://health.usnews.com/health-news/diet-fitness/diet/articles/2011/10/06/kids-who-diet-when-are-they-too-young
http://psychology.about.com/od/developmentalpsychology/a/sociallearning.htm
http://rebeccahains.com/2014/12/15/5-reasons-not-to-buy-barbie/
http://www.barbiemedia.com/about-barbie/careers.html
http://www.huffingtonpost.ca/2014/02/05/barbie-body-unrealistic_n_4730603.html?
http://www.huffingtonpost.com/galia-slayen/the-scary-reality-of-a-re_b_845239.html
http://www.independent.co.uk/life-style/health-and-families/health-news/media-blamed-for-rise-in-eating-disorders-718088.html
http://www.mirror-mirror.org/barbie-and-body-image.htm
http://www.rehabs.com/explore/dying-to-be-barbie/#.VRGaqv5yaUm


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Final essay

Present a detailed, critical analysis of a cultural text.

Barbie is a fashion doll manufactured by the American toy-company Mattel Inc., launched in March 1959. She is the cultural icon of female beauty and role model for young girls, mostly in Western culture.   In the image created by Mattel Inc., Barbie is shown as an image of successful woman in all areas of her life, which is result of her perfect appearance. Her image sends to children powerful message about body ideals, nevertheless she is the posthuman body doll with unrealistic body measurements. My aim in the essay is to prove that her image has negative impact on young girls.

Kim Toffoletti in her book ‘Cyborgs and Barbie dolls’ states that ‘Barbie is said to teach girls the codes of femininity through standards of dress, bodily ideas and models of behaviour. ‘ Her unreachable and unhealthy body proportions give bad body image to young girls, who are acquainted with the fact, that Barbie is the post human body doll. Barbie’s disproportional body measurements are impossible standards for girls to become. According to ideal image of Barbie created by Mattel, success in life, seem to be achievable by having perfect body shape.
According to Bandura social learning theory, ‘learning can occur by observing the actions of others. ‘ This theory applies to young girls; playing with the dolls, and watching her commercials allow them to think that to be popular and successful in life , they have to be perfect looking, just like ‘Barbie ‘As it’s shown in Barbie commercials and film series, the world that this doll lives in seem to be ”perfectly perfect”. Barbie’s career is filled with good role model jobs; these include a teacher, nurse, vet, police officer. In contrast with Sojourner Truth born into slavery who was fighting for rights of black woman who were slavers, Barbie is example of successful white female. ‘Ain’t I a woman’ is a powerful speech delivered by Sojourner Truth, where she tries to persuade , that black woman are equal to man and are able to work. Starting from the first Barbie commercial that was shown to public 56 years ago, Mattel managed to persuade young girls to believe that Barbie should be their role model. ‘Barbie used to be my favourite doll when I was little. She was just so perfect. I felt that Barbie could do anything she wanted because she was loved by everyone. ‘ This is one of the memories taken from a young girl, from the book ‘Barbie culture’. Although Barbie is popular among young girls, her image of perfection is fulfilled with falsity and post humanism, as the measurements of her body could never be achieved by females. ‘If Barbie were an actual women, she would be 5’9″ tall, have a 39″ bust, an 18″ waist, 33″ hips and a size 3 shoes. ‘ ‘The Yale Centre for Eating and Weight Disorders’ discovered that if women looked like Barbie, ‘they’d would have to grow two feet taller, extend their neck length by 3.2 inches, gain 5 inches in chest size, and lose 6 inches in waist. The facts about falsity of Barbie state about the post humanism which Mattel Company used to create an image of perfect femininity. Barbie seems to be ‘an icon of the femininity associated with the middle reaches of contemporary Western societies.’ In a book ‘’cyborgs and Barbie dolls’’ the author states ‘In my mind, Barbie acts a ‘bridging’ figure between debates surrounding gender and representation, and post human, post-gender figurations because she displays aspects of both the modern and postmodern cultural condition.’
The experiences of having a Barbie from childhood leaves conviction in the subconscious minds of young girls; femininity should look perfect, having thin legs is important and inherent factor providing happiness and success in life. Today’s socio-cultural environment if filled with images of beautiful, slim females, leading to excessive dissatisfaction with the outward appearance among young girls. Females compare themselves with the image created by the media, which is perception of sliminess as a necessity of being happy and successful woman, like Barbie is, thanks to her attributes of inhumanly slim shaped body.
Starting from childhood, girls are introduced to the body ideals by playing with Barbie; later in life they are surrounded by fashion magazines and mass media, all suggesting that the key to be a successful woman is necessary to have a perfect, thin body. In the book ‘Unbearable weight’, author Susan Bordo argues that’ anorexia and bulimia (as mass phenomena, not as the isolated cases that have been reported throughout history) have been culturally produced’ For years, the media have been blamed for the rise in eating disorders, and similar to Barbie, they promote unhealthy thin models as ideals of femininity. Similarly, social culture is steeped with supposition that the only one way to be beautiful, is to be thin.
Mary Rogers, in her book ‘The Barbie culture’ states that ‘Barbie has a great deal to show us about who we are, who we want to be, and who we fear we might be or might become. ‘ Exaggerated worrying about weight, and slim body shape, foster to eating disorders like anorexia nervosa, which leads to annihilation of body. The desire for perfection doesn’t image an intended effect, but rather a look of poverty and sickness. In a nutshell attenuated bodily ideal should not be seen as an embodiment of perfection.
The conviction and image of a perfect femininity rooted in females in childhood keeps evolving throughout teenage years; during this time, young girls are surrounded by ”perfect” thin mannequins in clothing shops and images of unrealistically thin females in fashion magazines. This can raise body concerns among susceptible teens and make them feel inadequate. The pressure and conviction of femininity rooted in childhood by experiencing Barbie are the main factors causing body dissatisfactions and eating disorders among young girls. Beside of all this negative impact of Barbie, there is also positive side of the power of her image- she is embodiment of successful woman, and it can be motivating factor for young girls.

‘Ain’t I a woman’ , speech delivered by Sojourner Truth in 1851, in contrast to powerful image of Barbie.

‘Ain’t I a woman’ is a speech delivered by Sojourner Truth in 1851. Her powerful statement, about fighting for rights for black woman in the 19th century , provided me some additional inspiration for argument in my essay. I compared the image of successful white female- Barbie, with situation of African women in 19th century , who were slavers and were unable to work because of their race and class.

In her speech , I found a few sentences, which drawn my attention  ‘ As  for intellect, all I can say is, if a woman have a pint, and a man a quart-why can’t she have her little pint full? You need not to be afraid to give us our rights for fear we will take too much,– for we can’t take more than our pint’ll hold. ‘

In a nutshell , the situation between black females in 19th century and white women living in the 21st century in western culture is not equal.

Barbie as the post human body doll, is depicted by Mattel as an image of successful woman,   owing her happiness and success in career to her perfect appearance.  Endless list of jobs, including astronaut, vet, nurse, police woman, state about her independency and power.

My first draft of the essay

 Girls start to worry about their weight in the age of 5 years old. It’s the time, when they start to play with Barbie .  They even start to wear make-up and care about the  outward appearance at similar age. The doll, since the time it’s been launched by Mattel in 1956 ,is  seen by small girls as embodiment of perfection .  In real, her mythical image is overbought  with falsity and posthumanism.  Most of Mattel’s  Barbie advertisments  are full of  adjectives, like adorable, charming, fashionable,  stunning and shimmering. In connection with the fact, that  her image and body measurements are far from the ones of average female , makes a conclusion that it’s an eye-wash , which contemporary culture and media are full of. 

The statistics show, that from 90 to 95 percent of anorexics and bulimics are women.  The sad true is that from up to  50 percent of them never recover completely.  60 percent  American females have serious trouble with eating.

 

The Health magazine in edition from September 1997 compared measurements of Barbie based on the assumption that she was 183 cm high and average woman is 20 centimetres  smaller.  Barbie as human would be 46 kilograms with her tiny waist, just about 48cm, while average healthy female would be  20 kilograms heavier with the waist 76 cm.  It doesn’t classify image of Barbie to the category of human, so many young girls in western culture go hungry   and strive to perfection ?  

The image of  female beauty has changed over the centuries- big bellies from the fifteenth century, plump faces and shoulders in the early nineteen –  it was during the time when female body was seen as nude beauty, not seeing through clothes.  The look which is promoted by fashion world is the look of poverty and exhaustion.  Today, the average model weight 23 percent less than  the average American model.  I think that this boundary between real female and the promoted model , makes women feel inadequate. Barbie is posthuman and post-gender object of consumption, similarly to mannequins in the shop windows.   All this trend for perfect body is connected with consumerism and capitalism, as females want to have perfect bodies to look good while wearing clothes that will fit beautifully on their bodies and they can present themselves to the male audience.  The question is,  is to please men which watch women, or is it to just feel good in our bodies ? This constant and  endless race for perfection is like poison for our freedom  and enables us to feel happy .  According to modern feminist philosopher- Susan Bordo, postmodern tendency appears in form of the cultural practices of shaping the body by going to the gym and plastic surgery. Is it like people in nowadays culture, females in particular cannot be satisfied with the way they look because of  posthuman perceptions about perfection ? Advertising  industry , in this case Barbie  adverts, play the role of constructing cultural ideas  about lifestyle, glamour and self-improvement.

The Barbie Culture, research for the essay

The Barbie culture- book written by Mary F. Rogers explains key aspects of cultural meaning of Barbie doll. Consumer markets are accumulations of fantastic desires and new technologies.  Barbie is an example of the idea, that our bodies can be whatever we like if we devote enough money and attention to them.

This book has helped me to understand this iconic doll as the cultural text in new reflection . Barbie and her perfect world are full of falsity and despite of the fact that she is loved by small girls, she has negative impact on their self esteem.

Underneath I’ve got scans of pages from the book, which I think might be relevant for the essay.

img20150226_15161824   img20150226_15152475  img20150226_15173439  img20150226_15142730  img20150226_15135504  img20150226_15125245  img20150226_15115626   img20150226_15223863  img20150226_15191716

 

Referring to the lecture ” Making cultures ” ( 06.11.2014) Female beauty changed over centuries.

Over the centuries female beauty has changed many times. For the past 100 years, embodiment of perfection had various forms.  The article in the link, depicts in very interesting and clear way, how the image of beauty was changing from 1910s. – http://www.dailymail.co.uk/femail/article-2913285/How-shape-perfect-body-changed-100-years.html  Starting from’ the Gibson look’ from 1910s and ‘the Curves’ in 1960’s with beauty icon Marilyn Monroe on the top ,  through ‘Petite look’ of 1960s, finally to ‘the Waif’ of 1990’s and   the last trend bootylicious with Kim Kardashian as the icon. This fashion for ‘ building up ‘ the body to have big round shapes is associated with post human behaviour. In the book . ‘According to Bordo, the cultural, the cultural practices of shaping or constructing the body through plastic surgery or attending the gym are symptomatic of the postmodern tendency toward homogenisation and normalisation.’ (Cyborgs and Barbie dolls,2007; p.75)

My notes from the lecture :

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‘Heroin chic’ look gained in popularity in 90s, when  thin models hit the catwalks. The nineties were definitely the start of trend for ‘ the waif’. Thirty years earlier, the trend for petite figure was very popular . Two models, who popularized this look were Twiggy and Jean Shrimpton, who promoted slim body. In contrast with 50s , when wide hips and big busts were desired attributes of sexy appearance,  petite look of 60s , was the time when a lot of girls were commencing diets.

In 1959 Mattel,Inc. launched Barbie . The first doll varies in the face features of today’s Barbie, but thin, long legs and tiny waist remain the same.  Women in 60s had to face new popularized look of slim body, but the pressure has not been put on them in such big scale as it is now.

Barbie at 50

Nowadays, females are bombarded by media with images of thin, beautiful women , which are fake depictions . Many images of perfect thin women on covers of fashion magazines were photoshopped and digitally altered. One of the examples of photo manipulation , is the picture of model in two different version, who promotes clothes for design company ‘Ralph Lauren’.

alteration of model

Like it’s clearly visible on these two pictures, the same model has completely different body shape. The first picture, which is definitely photoshopped, is depiction of anorexia.  The company in this case didn’t take a responsibility for publication the picture; average woman  while looking at the picture comapares hersel with this ‘image of perfection’ and lower her self esteem. In real , the female on the picture doesn’t look in this way.

‘Ralph Lauren responded: “After further investigation, we have learned that we are responsible for the poor imaging and retouching that resulted in a very distorted image of a woman’s body. We have addressed the problem and going forward will take every precaution to ensure that the caliber of our artwork represents our brand appropriately.”’ (http://www.beautyredefined.net/photoshopping-altering-images-and-our-minds/)

This is only one of many cases of photoshop manipulation by media. In a nutshell ‘fashion world’ should take responsibility for promoting thin models as embodiment of femininity and perfection and stop digitally slim down women;  in consequence many females suffer from eating disorders and low self esteem.

The beauty myth by Naomi Wolf.

One of  feminist theorists, who catch my attention in particular is Naomi Wolf and her book ‘The beauty myth’.

naomi wolf

In the book, the author generally speaks critically about women, that are oppressed by the pressure to fit into the false ideal of beauty. The definition of beauty is widespread in contemporary culture by  white, thin and made-up female model.

In the book I found a lot of interesting and relevant to my topic quotes.

“A cultural fixation on female thinness is not an obsession about female beauty but an obsession about female obedience.”

“Sadly, the signals that allow men and women to find the partners who most please them are scrambled by the sexual insecurity initiated by beauty thinking. A woman who is self-conscious can’t relax to let her sensuality come into play. If she is hungry she will be tense. If she is “done up” she will be on the alert for her reflection in his eyes. If she is ashamed of her body, its movement will be stilled. If she does not feel entitled to claim attention, she will not demand that airspace to shine in. If his field of vision has been boxed in by “beauty”–a box continually shrinking–he simply will not see her, his real love, standing right before him.”

“No matter what a woman’s appearance may be, it will be used to undermine what she is saying and taken to individualize – as her personal problem – observations she makes about the beauty myth in society.”

“Female thinness and youth are not in themselves next to godliness in this culture. Society really doesn’t care about women’s appearance per se. What genuinely matters is that women remain willing to let others tell them what they can and cannot have. Women are watched, in other words, not to make sure that they will “be good,” but to make sure that they will know they are being watched.”

“Dieting makes women think of ourselves as sick, religious babies.”
I think that the quotes reflect the fashion for looking perfect and thin in contemporary culture.

The power of the poster.

 I wanted to get some knowledge about posters and I looked at a few books in our university library. I found one, which  had a title that captured my attention and it made me to feel that I want to read it . It’s called ”The power of the poster ” and it’s edited by Margaret Timmers. The book  is mostly about poster development from the nineteenth  century. In the book, there are 250 illustrations of some of the best examples of poster art from the 19th and 20th centuries. The most interesting for me posters which I found in the book are the posters that include issues such women’s suffrage, the environment  and AIDS.

Most of the posters speak out about the issues relevant to the times they were produced and they are very effective .

What I’ve learnt from the book and looking at these strong examples of posters is that effective poster needs to have clear communicate and strong argument, to grab the immediate attention of the viewer and achieve intended effect, for instance to motivate and provoke the audience, make laugh, protest, reflect, react. In short, the graphic vocabulary needs to communicate. The most effective posters are dynamic force for change.

Underneath are two examples of posters which catch my attention and are linked with the theme of feminism and objectification of women.

your body..

do women...

 

 

 

 

 

 

Poster as a form of communication. My ideas for the text.

When it came to writing text in the poster, the first thought that came to my mind , was finding the answer for the question : who this poster will be directed to.  As I focused on Barbie, poromoting ‘perfect look’ in contemporary culture and  eating disorders which are result of that, I though my audience will be females, in particular teenage girls.

I want to enhance the awareness on how media and contemporary culture are controlling us -females, by promoting attenuated body and making eye-wash of young girls, that low weight and perfect body are sources of happiness, whereas the effect is completely opposite. Girls start to fight with body wars and striving for perfect shape and look, which doesn’t exist , as the desired perfection is unreachable and because of that it’s impossible to feel satisfied with the body, as there is always something that could be improved.

This is my first draft for the text , which I’ll put in my poster but I will edit it and improve before I put it on the poster.

 

Statistics show, that 8 million people in the United States has an eating disorder and 85-90% of them are females. Girls start to worry about their weight between the age of 4 and 6 years old.  This too early over-worrying about appearance unfortunately ends up with suffering from anorexia and other dangerous for life   eating disorders.

Isn’t it that ,  however our bodies look like, in the subconscious we feel that it always could be better ?  The weight, shape, skin, make-up, clothes? Doesn’t it sound like vicious circle, which is like a prison for our minds  and unables us to feel  free and satisfied with our appearance  ? Where does the healthy taking care of yourself end and dangerous obsession starts??  And how much the perfection weight ? 

To answer for this questions , we  need to ask ourselves:  does the perfection exist ?  Realistically , the answer is no.

‘The Barbie effect ‘ is a metaphor for how we (females) react for promoting thin models in contemporary culture in particular consumer and fashion world. Unluckily our experience with fake model of feminity starts in childhood, when we discover Barbie doll with unrealistic body measurements. Unconfessed of this posthumanism and falsity , we wish we could look like her when we grow up: ultra slim and always perfect.  The eye-wash doesn’t end up on experiments  with Barbie dolls. It keeps to continue in teenage hood when we are  beleaguered with image of thin models in fashion magazines, scrawny mannequins in shops.

Before You stop eating and go for a diet  !Double think about it .  You don’t want to look like  living skeleton, do You ?

My first drafts of the poster

20150203_015644            20150203_015918    20150203_020100

I undertook these pictures with my phone-camera and they are not so clear and the best quality. On the internet, I found the video which promotes helping people with eating disorders. I found it very inspirational and I used the image of anorectic girl looking into the mirror , but instead of reflection of girl who thinks she is fat, I glued picture of Barbie .

This is the video :

The imagery is black&white and the sentences and the title is in pink colour, which I associate with Barbie. I made three different compositions and in the spaces between pictures I will insert text . I like the idea of the thought bubbles because they make the imagery to be more clear, but because of them, I won’t have a lot of space for the text.  hey are only first drafts and I will try to improve and develop them further.

 

 

 

 

Ideas for visual language in my poster. Directness of Pop Art.

Roy Lichtensten and Andy Warhol are two main artists, who inspired me for my poster. I wanted the visual language  for the imagery  to get a form of comics, which would have thought-bubbles which would make the poster to be clear . Quotes in the thought bubbles won’t match with reality and I want people who will be looking a the poster to make their own conclusions.   I want to make collages, which will be made of photographs and imagery of Barbie.

im so retro            perefection model

 

Above , are a few examples of comic  Pop Art prints,  which I think would match to my range of interests for the poster. What I like about them and generally about Pop Art comics, is that the authors highlight (usually with thick mark) elements which are connected with the quotes in thought bubbles.

My idea and visual language

In my poster , I want show how promoting ‘perfect thin female models’  in contemporary culture , in particular doll icon -Barbie,  affect fetish for striving for perfect body. Through two collages ( which are partly inspired by Pop Art comics and the style of Barbara’s Kruger feminist posters (( black&white imagery and layered on the top highlighted with intensive colour sentences )) , I want to show what results it might lead to. I want to focus on theme of anorexia in particular.

 

My first idea was to keep the imagery just in black &white with emphasis on a few key details and sentences ( in the thought bubbles), which will be highlighted with intensive pink colour which is characteristic for Barbie.  Making contract in colours , will make the poster to be more minimalist and clear. The text will be also black&white, but I will emphasise the key words.

The title

I have a few ideas for the title. One of them is ‘ The Barbie effect’ . The second idea is ‘How much the perfection weight’. I think the second one will be more powerful but I hope to have some more ideas for the title so hen maybe I can combine a few .

 

 

Developing and discovering ideas for theme for the poster.

Last couple of weeks I’ve been thinking what I can make the poster about.  I’ve never been interested and involved in feminist topics , until on one of the seminars, we started to talk about objectification of women and topics related to that. I found it very interesting and I started to follow some blogs and websites related to these topics. One of the blogs, which turned out to be helpful is  inequalitybyinteriordesign.wordpress.com/ . I have also started to search for examples of inequality of woman and objectification of females in visual culture, like music video clips, commercials and art. I found big range of examples and I wanted to qualify it so that I would find one theme which is the most quaint for me , and develop it.  I decided, that the number 1 will be ‘obsession of perfect body in contemporary culture ‘ . I chosen to elaborate this theme, as I feel that it’s common problem among females , and that it’s close to me in some way. I believe that everything ( or maybe almost ) has it’s own reason. I began to  search for explanation of the obsessive seeking for achieving ‘perfect weight ‘ and ‘perfect appearance’ . I think, that childhood and experience during that period has an impact on women’s self-opinion and how we perceive our outward appearance -whether we accept it as it is and feel happy or we don’t accept ourselves and constantly feel that ‘ I won’t be happy and feel comfortable in my body, unless I loose some weight. It is some kind of vicious circle, where we ( women) are like prisoners .

When I was thinking lately about my childhood, I reminded myself about toys which I used to play. I remember I used to have big collection of Barbie dolls , which were my favourite. Long, slim legs, sleek body with tiny waist and  beautiful blond hair covering spotless smiling face. These few features, were my first associations with Barbie. Now, when I look at it from the perspective of time, I can make connection with feeling disappointed sometimes with my appearance and constant desire to improve some imperfections.

barbie-300x400

I think it’s not only Barbie icon,that has impact on the `culture of obsessive loosing weight’ . Most of  high street clothes adverts for brands like River Island, Top-Shop or H&M  also choose thin models to promote their clothes. Similar situation is with mannequins in  shop displays- it’s hard to find in the crowd of people such thin and unduly shaped women.  In a nutshell, in fashion world, thin models are reigning.

 

Barbie and ‘challenged childhood and youthful consumption’, referring to the lecture ”Making cultures”.

My notes from the lecture ( ”Making Cultures” 06.11.2014)

20150327_153415[1]

 

Barbie is the object of consumption for over 50 years, since it has been launched by Mattel, Inc. in 1959.  Barbie,because of the way it’s presented by Mattel,Inc. in the commercials, represents good life. In fact, over 1 billion Barbies have been sold. It states about her globally spreaded popularity. (http://www.economist.com/node/1487595 )   This genderes  owns a car, house, her wardrobe is filled with fashionable clothes and accesories- that states about the fact, that Barbie is a consumer and object of consumption . ‘As a teenage fashion model, Barbie thus represents a targeted market. At the same time she epitomizes the consumerization of children, their transformation into consumers with some measure of autonomy as spenders and buyers.'(Rogers, M.F. (1999) Barbie culture . SAGE publications Ltd)  For many years, she’s been an object of desire of thousands young girls mostly in Western culture.

According to the book ‘Barbie culture’ by Mary F. Rogers, Barbie has everything found in the dreams of middle-income consumers.  Also her hobbies and activities she used to do, are consumerist , for example wearing fashionable clothes, driving modern cars, eating at McDonald’s.

Underneath I have a few pictures of pages from book ‘Barbie culture’ , from the chapter ‘Challenged childhood and youthful consumption’

20150327_145036[1] 20150327_145137[1] 20150327_145057[1] 20150327_145209[1]

Over-consumption- the key issue in the Western world. Reffering to the lecture ”Making cultures”

Unhappiness at too much choice and the stress of too little money are common problems of everyone who does shopping. Desire of having more and more, excessive consumerism , which  often ends up with achieving opposite instead of giving pleasure. People are not satisfied with what they already got , as tempting and at the same time falsified commercials show new , modified products .Also cultural consumption is a sign of taste that individual has or the lack of it. Individuals in the consumer culture, speak not only with their clothes, but with their home, furnishings, decoration, car.   While I was looking at Barbara’s Kruger posters, I saw the one which appealed to me :

shoop

”I shop therefore I am” -the short sentence, layered on the top of black and white picture is similar to  the French philosopher René Descartes famous quote “Cogito ergo sum”…..”I think therefore I am”   .    My interpretation of the poster is that ,  for instance I create my outward image by buying things. Clothes, accessories, food, gadgets – it’s all about making choices. The things that I buy express myself in some point.

Consumer paradise

Commodity choice,  that Western World is feeding us with, is so big, that if often leave people with feeling unhappy because of too much of choice and because of buying to many things that we actually don’t need. A lot of brands exaggerate qualities of their products , make customers feel that it’s necessarily to have them, as it will make them feel happy . It happened to me many times, that going for shopping to buy shoes, ended up with buying a dress , even if I didn’t need it . The obsession of consumption of material goods and commodified experiences accelerates the economy .  But where is the board between rational consumerism and over-consumption?  I think  that it starts when people realize that they’ve got too many objects which they  don’t actually need and they still have desire for essential meaningless shopping.

How it refers to Barbie culture? 

I think that tempting commercials of Barbie dolls and all her accessories is linked with need of children for having all these things.  I think the picture below, which comes from The Pink and Blue Projects in terms of gendering children is perfect example of over-consumption of parents, buying too many toys for their children.

oink projec

 

 

 

 

Looking closer at Barbie as an icon, according to the book ” Barbie culture ” by Mary F.Rogers

Nature of Barbie as an icon, has multiply meanings. She is such an icon , as are Playboy and superman centrefolds.  She is an icon in people’s experiences with her.  Interesting facts, are that she has no children, no husband, no teachers, no boss. The ‘perfect’ world, in which she lives , revolves around her boyfriend Ken and her friends. The consumerism world of Barbie doesn’t end just on dolls: there is Barbie magazine, Barbie cosmetics, Barbie art and even society. Mattel’s advertisements for Barbie describe Barbie as fashionable, glamorous, stunning, elegant. It comes to the point, where Barbie is an icon of white, heterosexual femininity  in contemporary Western societies. A lot of young girls describe her as their idol and that they wish, they looked like her. In my conclusion, she plays a big role in most young kids’ lives.  I also think, that she has the ability to define perfection, but in very exaggerated way. She is an artifact, that has bad effect on young girls minds.

The consumerization of children

In the book, I found report of girl Brenda, who said :” I used to think how cool it would be to have Barbie’s clothes, hair, styles, smiles, and all her accessories. Everything she had, I wished I had. She could have anything she wanted-sport cars, new furniture, a new house, new clothes, a big pool, and a whole bunch of shoes. ”  – I think that it’s very common reaction, as I remember that when I used to play with Barbie dolls, I wanted to be like her too.

According to what this girls said and also a few other children, Barbie had everything- clothes, cars, beauty. She represents some kind of unreal or extreme material comfort, what people form the middle class normally can’t afford. In my opinion, it has big impact on woman’s  psyche and well being as it makes us ( woman) to have a need for approval , which includes slim tights, flat stomach and boyish hips abviously  and striving to perfect body and look, which is impossible , as there always can be something what could be improved. In the book I found opinion, of Hesse-Biber, who  has published widely on the impact of sociocultural factors on women’s body image: ”Barbie also shows that a woman ”may never find relief from the Cult of Thinness.” Barbie is a fashion doll, that symbolize a culture’s idealized woman.  That makes me to think about anorexia, bulimia and about how we (female) perceive ourselves when we look in the mirror.

That’s what The Toy Manufacturers of America  say:

”Children today have unprecedented power as consumers… Kids spend approximately $2.6 billion of their own money on play items such as toys, bikes and  roller skates and $530 million on consumer electronics. In addition, children exert considerable influence on parents making household buying decisions. ”

I think that commercials and adverts play crucial role in  accelerating of fetish of Barbie consumerism. Watching commercials of Barbie dolls and accessories makes a desire of having them .

Barbie as a post human prototype according to the book ” Cyborgs and Barbie dolls” by Kim Toffoletti.

On the first page of third chapter of the book ”Cyborgs and Barbie dolls” I found a sentence which draw my attention :” Barbie is so pervasive in contemporary culture that she hardly requires description.”  It’s so true.  Her image is widespread in all over the world, particularly among little girls, but in the beginning of 60’s , after she was launched onto the market by Mattel, Barbie was a fashion doll for adults to buy. When I think about her from perspective of adult girl, I realise a lot of Barbie’s bad features , which I wouldn’t see if i was 6  year old child. The first thing, which stands out , is her  unobtainable and unrealistic body proportions, which actually make a lot of woman feel inadequate. She became perfect model of femininity, with her tiny waist, extra long slim legs and thick blond hair.

Other moderinised forms of femininity  typified by consumerism are manequins . Usually, the ones that I see in shop displays are ultra slim with ultra sleek surface, which imitates skin. Shop-display mannequins emphasise non-human qualities.   In the world of consumerism, woman became commodity which is easily exchangeable for better, improved model.  It caused vicious cycle , where women pursue for perfect body and appearance.  ‘Invention’ of Barbie contributed to tension between the real and the ideal, where precipice between real look of female and fake , posthuman body doll-Barbie is massive.

I think that image of posthuman Barbie doll is related to eating disorders- anorexia and bulimia among young girls , which has grown 400% since 1970.  Small girls who play with Barbie dolls and for whom she is an authority, they familiarize themselves with the ideal look of woman , and it has further consequences in perceiving themselves.

Aiming to perfect look, not always ends up with wanted consequences-  it’s often beginning of struggle with anorexia or endless feeling of inadequacy.

”If looks could kill ” The Barbie effect. ( the task for seminar 29.01.15)

It’s unbelievable,but  statistics show, that 8 million people in the United States has an eating disorder and 85- 90% of them to be female. Girls start to worry about their weight  between the age of 4 and 6 years old.  They start to wear make-up in the same age bracket. The question is Why they start to worry about their appearance and want to look perfect in such early age ? Who is guilty? Parents, commercials, cartoons ? A lot indicates , that invention of Barbie has contributed to this destructions of behaviour and look of  young girls.  Barbie is known for her ” perfect” weight, looks, clothes, make-up, hair. She lives in her perfect soap bubble world, and where nearly all her gadgets are pink . That makes ”eye-wash” for young girls, for whom Barbie is a role model. I found poster of Barbara Kruger which  has catch my attention straight away :

thWE6RYZVB

In the black&white image there is small girls , maybe in in the age of 5, wearing make-up, with perfect hair-style , jewellery and dress. The words on red background say :’ I never want to grow ugly’

I also found on-line this article, which is related to this image and it helped me to understand the reasons of trend to look perfect among girls in such an early age . This article comes from website : http://www.teenink.com .  I attached the link below :

http://www.teenink.com/opinion/pop_culture_trends/article/175098/The-Barbie-Effect/

I have also found this commercial from 70’s of  Barbie make-up set for children. It’s ridiculous, how these small girls behave in the video .

 

Social networks , referring to the lecture ‘ Participatory culture’ (20.11.2014)

like!  like , share , comment

We live in the socio-cultural environment , where social websites are the main tools of communication. Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, Flickr, Tumblr are only a few from long list of social networking websites . ( The rest of the most commonly used are listed here http://www.practicalecommerce.com/articles/2701-Beyond-Facebook-74-Popular-Social-Networks-Worldwide ).  Smartphones are literally must-have gadgets among most recent generation.  I’m not gonna hide the fact that I own one. Countless amount of applications made this device being exciting and tempting to use, but after some time I started to realize that spending too much time and various applications ( including facebook, messenger ) contradict with the main aim of phone .  Constant usage of Internet and social network platforms, allowed me to be perpetually active online, but how does it refer to real life ? It rather made be being more unsociable and closed in my ‘virtual bubble’ .

 

time2006personoftheyear

Despite of the ‘black side’ of being constantly online , there are also a lot of positive ones . As individual, You decide how You want to use social networks; whether You want to be a creator or producer, consumer, or passive user.  Facebook is one of the examples of platforms, where user participate- You can share stuff ( for instance link to Your blog, share Your own or others’ work) , or You can make a decision to stay on the side and be passive – just observe .

Spontaneous and easy use of communication through social networks allow users to be in constant touch with friends all over the world and that’s definitely good side of it.

Excessive usage of smartphone applications which is decidedly negative side of participating culture,  decrease ability of effective communication between people in real life and has negative impact on our mental health. Using social networks for a certain purpose can help to identify our needs, for instance Twitter might be used as a direct feedback, facebook for keeping in touch with family and friends.

Recommended article to read :

 

My notes from the lecture :

do artykulu

power and sexuality. Barbara Kruger and her conceptual art.

I came across with the name Barbara Kruger recently, when I saw the photographic silkscreen on vinyl , ‘Your body is a battleground.’ This piece comes from 1989 Late 1980s were  the time of retrogressive legislation on women’s rights. The poster was supporting legal abortion birth control and women’s rights.

Then I found some other posters , which were also very powerful and direct. Barbara Kruger used to address directly her slogans to the audience by pronouns: You, we , they.  Her work has usually  feminist provokation and there is a lot about  sex, racial and gender stereotypes, consumerism and power. Contrasting black and white imagery with slogans on red background make them to be very powerful and understandable for the audience.  I have chosen another two pictures of her work, that are relevant to the theme of feminism and objectification.

tumblr_lnvfl42bJB1qmvcm6o1_1280

thWE6RYZVB 53d85c2324d6615786e319e8b7492991

 

mass culture contra authentic culture .Referring to the lecture ”Social media”( 27.11.2014)

  Mass culture 

media 2

 

Mass culture , in contrast with authentic culture , is often full of falsity and is aiming to entertain masses of people.  The 20 century changed what the culture is by technology and phenomenons like pop culture . Mass produced art is considered to be less culturally important because of its cheapness and reproduction. Manufactured in big scale art , which has been produced quickly and is superficial, is referred to passive audience, in a nutshell is easy to understand.  Mass media is related to Americanization – influence of United States on the culture of other countries.  In the first half of the 20th century, American film industry dominated media all over the world.  Also American companies like Mcdonald’s , Pizza Hut, Burger King, Apple and Microsoft  have outlets all over the world.

Art in an age of mass culture 

Unfortunately I couldn’t find anywhere full movie, it’s only the trailer.

Consumerism and capitalism contributed to transformation of art after the Second World War. Pop art as an example, emerged in the second half of 1950s and the imagery born in this art movement is characterized by enjoying money and the mass media. Pop Art collages and paintings were often ironical and kitschy. They included images of celebrities and products like Campbell’s tomato soup can and Coca Cola.  Despite of all the shallowness of Pop Art, this art movement gained on popularity and was loved by masses.  Pop art , because of its mass appeal is Low culture.

High Culture

monaaaa

 

The painting above for obvious reasons, doesn’t need introduction.

This example of High culture is representation of direct human effort and because of its history and story behind it is culturally very important. Renaissance art is not the only one example of a High culture.  Classical music and opera are other instances of High culture , which in nutshell is sophisticated and intellectually  demanding.

In conclusion , Low culture art might be more entertaining and enjoyable for eyes but it’s less intellectual, while high culture art demands more thinking and is more sophisticated. It’s the art work, which represent direct artist’s effort.

Interesting articles to read :

http://www.theguardian.com/teacher-network/teacher-blog/2013/feb/20/pop-culture-teaching-learning-engaging-students

http://www.theguardian.com/artanddesign/jonathanjonesblog/2009/mar/06/capitalism-culture-art-market

My notes from the lecture:

20150328_173232[1] 20150328_210737[1] 20150328_210726[1]

 

 

 

 

Objectifying of woman in art and design. female furniture by Allen Jones.

The fact that woman often appears to have objectified status in art isn’t any surprise. What really amazed me is  that woman has been objectified by male artists, since a prehistoric sculptor  carved the Venus of Willendorf from a lump of rock nearly 28,000 years ago. That sounds like a very long time. Since then the female figure has been objectified as a fertility goddess, as perfect product and an object  of desire.

 

untitled

Allen Jones is a great example of artist, who’s work has a flow of feminist movement. His work is full of irony and it’s quite straightforward. Allen Jones was creating his work in 60’s , and it was the time when woman had narrow range of roles. Women were wife’s, mothers and generally house keepers.  Female furniture by Allen Jones is a clear definition of objectification of woman. Jones’ work  became as well  a symbol for the male sexual culture of the time.

2 3 22

 

In a nutshell : The most controversial furniture I’ve ever seen. Very sexual and provocative.  Woman as an object literally and in metaphor.

Gendering children. The pink and blue project. Pink princess and blue superhero.

 

Two pictures.  Boy in the ocean of blue toys and girl posing in her pink world. In the first moment I  start to wonder who took these pictures and is it possible that parents would allow to their child to have that many toys ? in the same colour? Why girls toys are all about taking care of the body and all these dolls, trolleys. Is it some kind of preparation to be mothers and pretty looking women who will play a role of flattering men? I wouldn’t normally ask myself these kind of questions , because I used to have similar toys when I was small( obviously not that many and not just in pink colour). As it has turned out later it was a project. Let’s look at the pictures:

jiyeon-and-her-pink-things_m cole-and-his-blue-things_m

The girl is posing in her cute pink princess dress, in the middle of her pink universe which is full of PINK toys like fake body cosmetics, hair dryer, mirrors, make-up, clothing. It makes me feeling sick a first glance at the picture. These kind of toys play a role of priming them for a culture that sexualizes girls and women.    Let’s look at the photograph of he young boy- he seems to be a kind in his blue kingdom. His blue toys are full of man’s superheroes, games, balls- all these toys are about activity and competitions.  I think that all these toys have an impact on his psyche and the way how he seats on the chair might be an example of that.

 

I believe that gender roles start in very young age. Children watch a lot of TV, which is full of toys commercials. It makes them want these toys, because if children in the adverts have them , I have to have them too. One of the examples are commercials of Barbie dolls , which were already very popular when I was a child. From my experience I remember that the adverts were very convincing .

I found this Barbie commercial, which seems to be very old , and I think it’s ridiculous  that it’s actually about cosmetics for young girls. Barbie lipstick, Barbie eye-shadows, Barbie blush, and Barbie nail polish. Oh really? Does 7 years old child need to wear lipstick and eye-shadow? What for ?  The girls the commercial behave like adults , but still…they are 7 years old. One of theese children is saying : ‘You are so pretty, can I try some ?’   My personal opinion about it, is that these kind of commercials shouldn’t be broad cased. Children are just children and they will have enough time to taste how it’s like to be adults, but it shouldn’t definitely start at such an early age.  If they start to use their sexuality in early age , it might even end up on rape .

In a nutshell, let’s let children to be children and instead of filling their rooms with toys which are fake adult accessories and only damage their psycho in some way, let’s read them books and take them outside. They will definitely have time being adult.

 

Continuation to ‘dirty girls’.

The documentary movie ‘Dirty girls’ left me with mixed feelings for the rest of the day. After I watched it once, I had an impression that I missed something and because of that didn’t entirely understand it, I didn’t get why these girls behave in this way. Is it because of they try to catch an attention? Because they are in the age when teens start to have a period of rebellion? Because they just don’t care about how they look like and they don’t want to prove anything and make impression on others ? Or maybe because they have gone through something and they just try to manifest for exaggerated bringing out sexuality by women?  These are only the main questions which came to my mind but I think there could be much more to ask . To find an answer, I did very simple thing-I have watched the video again, paying attention for everything what these girls and the college kids say. The video last less than 20 minutes and obviously the girls are criticised by their peers and they got labelled as ‘dirty girls’ , the ones who don’t take a shower. In my opinion these girls are rebels , by the way they behave and look, but they want to communicate something by that, it’s definitely not just because they don’t care . The last two minutes of the video are very important because one of the girls says something what I didn’t expect and it gave me an answer for the question which was in my had for all day ‘ why they do it for’.   She says ‘ I know a lot of people that have been raped, I know a lot of people that have been sexually molested, I’ve been molested ‘, ‘anyone can know about rape, it doesn’t matter how old you are ‘

Well , these last words which this teen says are the answer for my question and I think there is nothing more to say about it.

Actually I want to add something else. I think that our culture is full of visual texts, (like video clips to songs on youtube, adverts) that promote using female sexuality to provoke. Young girls, inspired by pop female  artists who are nearly naked in the video clips , with provocative make-up, they try to imitate this kind of image and they provoke men ( who is observer and judge) . It often leads to rapes, sexual molesting at very early age. I even don’t know why I say that, because I don’t consider myself being feminist as I like to look sexy too, but this documantary video just made me being aware of how the culture that I live in, leads to objectification of woman . Obviously it doesn’t mean that all girls have to stop of taking care of how they look like after they read this post, because I think that the way we look ,represents ourselves in some way, but just be aware and and think if we (women) want to be considered as objects of desire or we want to be treated as something more, as women with personalities and equal rights as men?

I think that every girl needs to answer herself for this question individually .

 

Dirty girls.

I found this video and I think it’s  just something what is worth to watch.

In 1998 a high school student made a documentary about a group of outcast girls at his high school called the “Dirty Girls.” It’s very interesting that these girls had a feminist view point at only thirteen years old

For me, these girls maybe exceeded the barrier of good taste and aesthetics, because being hygienic and aesthetic is important, but they definitely have something to say and it’s purely feminist manifesto.

Check this out !

It’s just unbelievable how the way we look , changes the way how people treat at look at us. I can imagine these girls wearing fancy clothes, nice make up and high heels, I guess male’s audience would see them as objects of desire , not as some outcast dirty girls.

Objectification of woman in cultural text . Analysis.

The video underneath, is a great example of visual text , where we can clearly see objectification of status of woman.

The video clip starts actually quite innocent and wild. We can see view of nature and it’s wildness:  mountains and soaring eagle above, galloping white horses. As the raper -Kanye West is black , white horses and black eagle might suggest , that Kanye wanted to highlight races. When the artist start to rap , we can see him riding a motorbike , and after a few seconds there appears look of beautifully shaped woman , wearing high heels, who is in the shadow so we can’t really see her face. The scene, when she is laying naked on the top of the motor , looks like a scene from James Bond.  The fact that she is naked , and the way how she is posing, suggest that she is available and it’s clearly sexual.  In my opinion it’s unnatural that the theme in this video clip has changed so rapidly: from wild views on mountains into view of naked woman, posing on the motor.   Then we can see the woman-Kim Kardashian , seating on the top of the motor facing Kanye, and their movements suggest quite obviously that they are having sex.  She is still naked while he is wearing two layers of tops. She is white , he is black.. it left me with the question : does it suggest objectification of woman in the western culture ?

Another interesting thing which I have realised in the video?  The fact that HE is the one who is keeping steering while SHE is flattering him.    The last thing what Kanye is doing in the video which is also reference to the quote  ‘women as objects and men as subjects’ are the last a few words of the verse 2 : ‘ I’m tired, you tired, Jesus wept’ and after that he is lifting his arms and I think he tried to imitate Jesus hanging on the Cross.  He suggest that he is the one who has power and he (as man) is on the top of the world in he skies.

 

I think that this video is a reflection of nowadays culture and society. I personally didn’t like it and after I’ve watched that I got the impression that showing naked beautiful woman in the video clip doesn’t necessarily mean that he as a man admires her, it rather suggest that he is the one who has power. He is a subject and woman as an object plays a role of flattering him.

Further analysis of ” Woman as Objects-Feminist Critique”

Group discussion. Questions and answers.

1. What is the reading about?From this reading, what do you understand about the ideas of Mulvey, Berger and Foucault? What is different and similar about the ideas of these theorists ?

The reading is clearly about objectification of woman . These three theorists have quite similar opinions and they all realize that woman in everyday life, art, cinema is objectified and observed by man and the inequality of both genders .

2.Identify five ‘key words’ that you think are central to this extract.

feminism, gender, objectify, gaze, inequality

3.Identify three ‘key quotes’ that you think are central to the ideas examined in this extract.

‘Men look at women. Women watch themselves being looked at’ , ‘From earliest childhood she has been taught and persuaded to survey herself continually’ , ‘Women as objects and men as subjects’ , ‘ideas spectator is always assumed to be male and the image of woman is designed to flatter him’.

4.What is the main argument in this extract? Write a series of bullet points to summarise he argument presented in this extract.

The main argument in this extract for the topic of objectification of woman is the fact that man is a spectator and is observing and women has feeling of constantly being watched. Man is a subject and woman is an object.

 

Paragraph summary of the main argument presented in the extract.

 

According to the feminist point of view and three theorists Foucault, Mulvey and Berger, woman is seen through man eyes as an object  of desire and as a perfect product which leads to objectification of status of woman. It’s spread nowadays in adverts, art, movies.  Woman is a perfect product, which is easily exchangeable,  and her outward image plays a role of flattering man.  It starts in an early childhood when young girl is persuaded by her society to constantly survey herself. Male as a spectator gaze and judge female and it leads to constant impression of being surveyed and judged . In most visual texts , woman is an object  and man is a subject.

 

 

Women as objects and men as subjects. My own analysis of the extract.’Woman as Objects – Feminist Critique’

 

After I’ve read the extract for the lecture, ” Woman as Objects-Feminist Critique”  from the book ” A Queer Romance ” by Evans and Gamman, I was quie surprised when I realised that three feminist critiques whose opinions are in the exract are very similar , despite of the fact that they were living in slightly different times. John Berger discuss the way women are objectified in the represenations of Western culture , by looking at oil paintings in the European tradition . Females body appears in fine art , film, adverts and it affects cultural and personal definitions of feminity and masculnity. One sentence drawn my attention in particular : ” Men look at women. Women watch themselves being looked at ” – John Berger try to explain, that in our culture the spectator is ‘usually assumed to be male’. Later on, in the extract, there appears a sentence ( which is also Bergers opinion) ” The ideal spectator is always assumed to be male and the image of woman is designed to flatter him.” I think that today’s society reflects very well what John Berger said. I believe that objectification of females body in art, adverts(in particular), video clips, movies has big impact on how man perceive woman and how it affects both genders. Women is sen through men’s eyes as perfect product, ready to consumption , and also men observe the opposite sex ( he is a spectator ) and it leads to feelinf of being observed and judged. Female is this weaker gender and is “created to please man” .

 

 

 

history and interior design

The author of the text – Erin Cunningham, talks about problems which we – students come across, while doing research. Internet is the easiest and quickest way for  gathering informations, inspirations. Websites like Pinterest are the source of so many tempting, colourful pictures which we -students , tend to pick up as a part of digital research for projects. Ready, cool images which we copy and paste for our research files don’t tell the story, and they unable students to understand for instance process of design or how something in the picture has been made. Internet is an ocean of countless images , where it’s easy to drawn and get lost.

” History, if used critically, offers non historians—be they students, faculty colleagues, and
practitioners—a new way of looking at the field of interior design by creating more socially engaged spaces.” I think that it’s true, if I know history of interior design well, the styles, concepts I can design clearly conceptual interiors. History allows to connect times and people in different places to one another .I think hat the knowledge of history allows to design something new and unique in interior design. According to legal historian Elizabeth Dale, “to those who approach it consciously, it offers
the opportunity to perceive connections, to think of alternative points of view, and to gain new senses of
perspective.” I believe, that decent research for project which doesn’t consist of random photographs from the Internet but it’s sensibly seleced and reasonable, will be great start for decent final piece and smart solutions. I will help o understand design enviroment in bigger context. To design something innovative and practical in use , it’s important to know he history of design and to understand own selection of research. Understanding history of interior design means embracing culture, theory and multiplicity. According to Mary Ann Beacher, Critical approach to the past and knowledge can help me look critically on my own design , ” in relation to “design, time, and
culture.”so that I can look for better solutions and become better design thinker. In the article, there is establishing to law , which is also discipline, that requires relating to other disciplines like history, literature, economics and philosophy. I think that studying various disciplines which are somehow related to interior design like fine art, advertising, graphic design, product design, architecture (and so on) , could help to look at interior design by itself from totally new, innovative perspective and become active and critical thinker , to be more aware.
Mark Kingswell in his article :” “Tables, Chairs and Other Machines for Thinking” demonstrates the larger social role of furniture for instance social context and explores how meaning is created by furniture.

Going deeper into interior design environment allows to look at interior design as more than physical structures, but as spaces which are respond for culture, environment, history and society.

Differences of architecture of the Luvr Museum, as a reference to lecture about Cultural Hierarchies

The Louvre Museum

The differences of architectural  aesthetics of the museum

Louvre Palace has been built originally as fortress in the late 12th century . The current, finished building, has been extended many times .

The large glass and metal pyramid varies in the style of architecture and materials it’s made of, from the Louvre Palace.

luvr pyramid

luvr old

luvrrr

The pyramid has been completed in 1989 and is used as the main entrance to the museum.
The styles of architecture have evolved and changed over centuries. Trends in culture also vary , depending on time in history.
The pyramid spawn a lot of controversy from the public , because of its futuristic look which doesn’t go classical architecture of the museum.

The big difference in these two pieces of architecture doesn’t stick only in style- also the materials which these buildings are made off vary from each other.

+ my notes from the lecture:

20150327_122931[1] 20150327_123340[1]

 

In the praise of shadows

The author- Junihiro Tanizaki describes Japanese interior architecture and puts i in the best light. His description consists of positive adjectives and beause of that he leaves us with the feeling, that japanese interior design and architecture is pure and clean in forms and colours . He is also talking about building his own house and creating there Japanese atmosphere, and troubles which he came across : He realized in the end, that he has designed it in the way totally opposite to his own taste.  According to the text, Japanese rooms are austere, and that it’s not easy to connect all the technical elements with that, like gas pipes, wires and electric wires.

He describes Japanese bathroom as spiritual repose, as a sanctuary. He claims that in all Japanese architecture, toilets are the most aesthetic. To highlight the beauty of Japanese toilets , he compares them to the Western ones, which are unclean and also he says that Japanese people are more sensible and have better taste.

 

 

 

Corners

“Human existence, because it came into being through
asking questions, is at the root of change in the world. There
is a radical element to existence, which is the radical act of
asking questions… At root human existence involves surprise,
questioning and risk. And because of all this, it involves actions
and change.”
—Paulo Freire
Learning to Question:
A Pedagogy of Liberation

 

Afer I’ve read pages 1-7 of In Praise of Shadows,  by Bell Hooks I found the connections between the written text and the quote which is the heading of it .

The author- Bell Hooks starts the the book with describing the school in Kentucky, where she went to and that she was lucky to be taught by Africans because she had he feeling ha she belongs there ( because of the way, how the teachers treaed her ) . They were influenced by W.E.B Dubois , who was American civil rights activist and who was against racism and he wanted equal rights for blacks.  According to the teachers in the segregated school, education was the surest way to freedom. The knowledge which the students at that school were gaining, helped them to understand the world and everythig better, and to feel free.

 

 

 

In contrast, the second part is description of the college , where she went to afer college, where the teachers were racists and unking ,  as this time the school wasn’ segregaed and the teachers were white. It caused the fear to ask questions by students and according to the heading to the book :  “Human existence, because it came into being through
asking questions, is at the root of change in the world. There
is a radical element to existence, which is the radical act of
asking questions… At root human existence involves surprise,
questioning and risk. And because of all this, it involves actions
and change.”  –

I think that it is very important that teachers treat all student with the same respect no matter about their gender, race, nationality. If student feels that teacher doesn’t treat them with  the right respect the student may feel scared to ask quesions and even to come to school. This is definitelly not the way which leads to freedom and to pleasure of attending to school and even learning.  Bell Hooks says that she knew that the white teachers hated  black students at that highschool. She suggests, that the teachers didn’t believe that they are fully human and that they were racially superior.

Finally she bacame a teacher and she was teaching teachers about teaching during the past years. She wanted to share the wisdom which she gained from he experience from college and higschool . She wrote a few books about teaching where she was passing her knowledge.