Tuesday, August 9, 2011

Funny or Offensive. You Decide.

While getting coffee the other day, this birthday card caught my attention. The inside said: "Enjoy the many possibilities of beauty and bling. Happy Birthday!"

Well, this image just confuses me. Is there humor to be found in the way the little girl is holding The Beauty Myth, a book that negates the pressures women face to be beautiful and thin, while looking like a beauty queen with makeup and curlers in her hair? The cover is creepy to me and a reminder of the ways advertisements and even greeting cards promote mixed messages about how young girls should behave and look. Is it supposed to be progressive with its message about the many possibilities of beauty, suggesting that beauty comes in all shapes and sizes? You decide.

As far as I'm concerned, it reminds me of the work of Diane Arbus, an American photographer famous for photographing "misfits" and those marginalized by society. Consider one of her photographs below:

Diane Arbus, girl in a party dress
Find any similarities with the greeting card?

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