OK. I moved. The blog, that is. If you would like to continue the discussion, head on over here:

Grand Central Blog


I considered posting this to the Women’s Studies course blog since it has everything to do with gender but I thought it fit our ongoing discussion about photoshopping.

I don’t even know what to say about these ads for body waxing.  On one hand, I find them awfully clever, a play on the double entendre, the slang we use for genitalia.

On the other hand, these ads tend to only enforce the ideology about grooming our genitalia.  And there is certainly an entire critical discussion that can be had about this topic.  The purpose of posting this on our blog, however, is to stir discussion about the responsibility of photoshopping our media and then actually publishing it for public consumption.   Some of it can be fun, I admit:

Though some if this image altering can certainly stir up debates concerning our ideological views on gender, class and race.  The below image prompted a lot of controversial arguments during the OJ Simpson trial:

How might making Simpson appear “darker” than he actually is help fuel our ideas about violence and African-American men?  Photoshopping has certainly helped promote our notions of sexism.  Consider this now familiar image of Sarah Palin:

Not a true photograph of Palin, yet it was a familiar image to circulate during the 2006 political campaign.  Then there is this shot that was all over the Internet directly after 9/11:

Again, not a real photograph but it certainly was a direct appeal to pathos concerning the victims of 9/11.

We have discussed how fashion photography and celebrity images have skewed how we view women—the whole Ralph Lauren issue is still in discussion for some of you.   Many of you argued against photoshopping images of women into thinner, unrealistic representations of beauty.  This image is, though contemporary, already a classic in the eating disorder online communities:

So what do you think?  Should there be a responsibility that should be recognized when altering these images with photo retouching software?  Or would creating public policy against publishing such photoshopped images only stir issues of censorship?

Nice to see women getting some acknowledgment where technology is concerned:

The 12 Most Powerful Women In Digital Media

Melissa in my WMST class is doing her Final Project on reproductive health and is trying to collect some data for her research. I am asking you to help her out and take this online survey. There are only ten questions and it is completely anonymous. It will only take a minute…please help your fellow student!

What do you know about Reproductive Health?

I hit up this blog on technology on a pretty regular basis—I am pretty determined to be the first person to purchase the Apple Tablet if it is, indeed, real and not just some mythical fantasy of cyber geeks everywhere.


Can you even imagine? A giant iPhone! Apple’s cooler version of the netbook. And I am just the consumer to buy one: my iPhone is the only thing that I have in my hands almost at all times. I have left the house without my wallet, my jacket, even my keys. But I always have my iPhone. My entire existence is on there. It is an extension of my self, merging me with technology in ways I never would have imagined. Which makes me question: Am I a cyborg?

According the semi-reliable Wikipedia, a cyborg is a “an organism that has both artificial and natural systems.” Oh yeah. That is so me. If I could have the iPhone/iTouch technology embedded into my arm, I would do it. It would be one less thing to carry.

In reality, just carrying my iPhone with me everywhere I go does not make me a cyborg in any form. But git a load of this:


I mean, how cool is this?!

This picture totally took my breath away when I saw it. I can’t even walk across campus without getting winded and this chick is running marathons on cyber legs. That is impressive enough; add in that she had to learn to walk on these legs makes my adoration grow even more so.

The use of new technologies in the medical field is baffling. When I was younger, any chicken pox outbreak was a call for old school play dates; mothers thrust their kids into infected communities to get the illness over with.

And you thought South Park came up with this!


My mother did this: with four of us at home, she wanted us all exposed at the same time and that is exactly what happened, from my oldest brother on down to me we scratched our way through the pox outbreak until we passed it onto other kids in the neighborhood. Imagine my awe at knowing there is a vaccination for chicken pox now, something most of you probably got as a baby. You all miss that childhood rite of passage.

From vaccinations to the cure for cancer new technology has made its presence felt. Of course, this technology also brings with it ethical issues related to cloning and bioterrorism. But just glancing at the above shot of Aimee Mullins offers some insight into the benefits of such advances in new technology.

Illness, ailment, disability…you have been p0wn3d.

Audience is a pretty big deal in writing. We have been talking about it all semester, how audience makes all the difference in composing a text—who is reading, who is taking action. As we are about to step into the Argument Project, it got me thinking about the power of audience and how technology has helped create new audiences that might not normally be there.

I have a series of videos here, the original song and the remake. Watch them. But most importantly, give them a listen. Consider how audience changes, depending on the text. Listen to the beat of the music, the vocal arrangement, the switch in genre. What’s the context? Did it change for each song? Did the voice and tone change the meaning? How might audience change the purpose of the text? Go on. Give them all a listen. I dare you.

Eurythmics, “Sweet Dreams (Are Made Of This)”
I was a big fan of the Eurythmics in the 80s. How could I not be? Powerful female with an ultra-feminine voice yet so very, very androgynous.

Marilyn Manson, “Sweet Dreams (Are Made Of This)”
Ah, Marilyn. Tried to be as powerfully androgynous as Annie but never quite pulling it off. But not a bad version. Enough for me to see him perform this in concert. Really.

Depeche Mode, “Personal Jesus”
Oddly, I could only find live versions of this song, all mellowed out acoustically. But this is the original song, a fantastic song…

Johnny Cash, “Personal Jesus”
Until The Man in Black did a cover. Fantabulous.

There is huge popularity in redoing hip-hop songs. Not certain if it’s because of the content or the opportunity to rework the beats. Perhaps both. Why do you think?

Jay Z, “Hard Knock Life”
Love, love, love the beats. I am guessing many of you have never heard the original song Jay Z sampled. You must watch it below.

Annie, “It’s A Hard Knock Life”
Originally a Broadway show with many, many now famous Annie’s (Sarah Jessica Parker, for one). This video is from the film. Chose to post this version because the choreography is just way too much fun.

Dr. Dre, “Bitches Ain’t Shit”
Yeah, I hated it when I first heard it. The lyrics got my feminist ruffles up. They are rough for my 42 yr old ears. No original video on this one so you’ll have to settle with just a listen.

Ben Folds, “Bitches Ain’t Shit”
And then I heard this version. And what do you know? A perfect example of how audience can change if the text is composed differently. Love it. Actually made me go back to the original and learn to appreciate the rhymes. Really.

Michael Jackson, “Smooth Criminal”
I’m honestly not a Michael Jackson fan but I do like some of his stuff. This is one of his I really, really like.

Alien Ant Farm, “Smooth Criminal”
And I REALLY, REALLY like this. But then, I like my music a bit on the loud side.

Black Eyed Peas, “My Humps”
For the record, let’s just establish that Fergie can do no wrong in my eyes.

Alanis Morissette, “My Humps”
Rumor has it that Fergie sent Alanis flowers after seeing this vid on YouTube. I believe it. She is just that cool.

Nelly, “Hot In Herre”
This song is pretty good. Like anything of Miley’s and Britney’s, it stirs my earworm every time I hear it.

Jenny Owen Youngs, “Hot In Herre”
But, omg. This pushes me over the edge. I love this chick. I will follow her to the moon.

I cannot stop listening to this song.

someone. must. burn. me. some Timbaland.


just to add to our fantastic discussion last week about photoshopped images. This was actually published in magazines this month:


According to Ralph Lauren:

“For over 42 years we have built a brand based on quality and integrity. 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.”


Apparently, the model for this ad has been fired by Ralph Lauren. For being too big.


oh, Ralph Lauren is not having a good week. This ad was just found. Seems the fashion line has made this photoshopping thing a habit:


Because of this: