This work looks at the behind the scenes at all varieties of pageants, he has collected work from all around to create this book. It is almost his the good, the bad and the ugly. He shows us the world we hear so much about but don’t really see as much as we think we do. From the tears to the backstage horrors.
He shows us the world of vanity and backwards morals an opinions. But leads it into the alternative pageants, the best lady boy or drag queen!
So focusing on the whole book and looking at every one’s different definitions of idealistic beauty, he shows how everyone’s ideals are different from others. He wanted a well rounded view on this world of glam and glitz in all it’s forms.
We live in a world that is based on who looks best, and pageants are an extension of that. He has captured this idea of beauty in it’s most exaggerated form and how women strive to be Miss Universe for example. But why is it we only ever pay attention to the big end pageants, why do all the others get so ignored. And he shows all sides of it he doesn’t want any of them going unnoticed.
I like this work because she has allowed her subject to be in their environment. In most of the images anyway. She looks at the raw person in the comfort of themselves. From one girl at the beach to a new mother holding her newborn baby. Can clearly tell there is no discomfort in her photographs from her models. She picks a subject matter and works with the subject not against it which is clear by her images she produces.
Even work that isn’t often seen she has gone in and showed the other side. For example with the soldier this isn’t what you would expect, but she used her own experience and knowledge to influence her work. and show the real person behind the uniform.
I have liked her work because she shows you can do a portrait without a studio and fancy set ups. That there is no need to make a model pose in a certain way, to just let them be as natural as they wish to be. Which is how I have tried to capture my model outside of the studio. I want to capture the most normal side of her that isn’t influenced by how she thinks she should be in a photograph but how she wants to be.
After having read this book multiple times and the using it as a main reference in my dissertation I thought it was about time I put my thoughts out there. Every time I find myself reading this book it is always the third chapter that sticks out the most for me.
His lack of empathy towards women in this chapter astounds me.. some see it as his way of celebrating women. I see it as condemning them. He talks about how women are nothing but a ‘mirror image’, but it was men who lead us to believe that was what we initially were for.
“To be born a women has been to be born, within an allotted and confined space, into the keeping of men… But this has been at the cost of a women’s self being split in two. A women must continually watch herself. She is almost continually accompanied by her own image of herself”
We really ave become conscious of how we are perceived by others. And Berger talks about how it in theory started back as far as the biblical story of Adam and Eve. The women made the first mistake and then was made to feel shame over her nakedness, From there they made Eve subservient to Adam.
And from then it is said to have started. Then referencing art work through the ages that has depicted the naked form of a women being watched or looking at herself. We work ourselves around how we want men to perceive us, body images stems from wanting acceptance and to be desired by men. And Berger put it in this format that shows us how women are vanity they only are pleased by what we see in our reflection.
But really yes women got handed the mirror by the artists/ photographers but it was the women who chose to accept what was handed to her and admire her own appearance.