Defying the Male Gaze // On Depictions of Female Beauty from Renaissance Paintings to Modern Photography

“It is said that analysing pleasure, or beauty, destroys it. That is the intention of this article.”

British film theorist Laura Mulvey, “Visual Pleasure and Narrative Cinema”

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In the period between the 1300s and the 1600s, the tradition of Renaissance oil painting was in full swing. Rich colors, realistic textures, and a variety of subjects abounded on canvases throughout Italy, France, Spain, and many other European countries. Renaissance painters like Titian, Caravaggio, Michelangelo, and da Vinci were painting objects, such as fruit and jewels, as well as the people of their society and their surroundings, such as pets, children, and expensive belongings. The male painters of Renaissance art brought to the forefront in paintings (whether intentional or not) proof of the wealth of those for whom they painted. A fully-set table in a painting, no matter how garnished with spices and seasonings and sauces, could not be eaten; therefore, the purpose of the painting was to display that its owner could afford such a hearty meal and bring pleasure to the owner through this display.

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Carvaggio’s Still Life with Fruit on a Stone Ledge, c. 1605-1610

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On Bras, Bathing Suits, and Basic Human Rights

One of my fondest imaginings of my mother, Susanna, is of her marching down the high street in a pair of clunky Dr. Martin boots and a whimsy floral dress, with her yellow hair wild down her back. Another story I’ve been told is how she once dyed her hair one-half red, one-half green when she was around fifteen. As I discovered my independent sense of style during my teenage years, I was inspired on a foundation level by my mother’s don’t-give-a-damn attitude. I chose not to give a damn either, and despite the natural self-consciousness of being a young person, especially having crushes and relationships, I wore things that made me feel the happiest I could be in my own body and communicated exactly who I felt I was. I didn’t listen to pressure and actually looked like the odd one out a lot of the time.

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Creating the New Runway // On Body Positivity in Project Runway

Kylie Krummel recently joined Boshemia staff as our US intern. K makes her Boshemia Blog debut with this article.

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Guest judge Olivia Munn, and judges Nina Garcia and Zac Posen

The fashion frenzy known as Project Runway began in 2004 and has been airing nearly every fall since then with the same simple premise: a group of twelve or more fashion designers is selected to compete against each other—and the clock—in challenges to design the best looks and dominate the competition. Every season crowns a new designer for his or her success in creating the most impressive collection for the runway. While ultra-fabulous supermodel Heidi Klum and ever-chic mentor Tim Gunn maintain a constant presence on the show, the designers are always different; they come to the competition with wildly varying styles, personalities, and backgrounds, and each one of them is celebrated for his or her unique view on fashion. But one of the factors of Project Runway is often overlooked and rarely celebrated for its variety: the models.

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Stretch || Don’t Break

Guest writer Aja Bailey shares her lessons of how she came to embrace her stretch marks, through the unabashedness of theatre culture and from witnessing the carefree attitude of her young niece. Aja leads us through her journey of acceptance and empowerment, with anecdotes of her youth and observations of younger women coping with (or embracing) their own scars.  Aja is a dreamer originally from Northern Virginia. When she’s not writing, you’ll find her stumbling around in search of creativity, pizza, and root beer.

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Mikhaila Nodel, Cosmic Cuties

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On Fleek || Lipstick Revolution

Guest article by Taylor Wear.  Taylor is a writer, a bruncher, and a young lover of old things. She will order whiskey and you’re allowed to think she’s doing it to impress you. Her favorite book and favorite shade of lipstick are both Lolita, a fabulous little coincidence.

Throughout my twenty-five years on this earth, I have managed to acquire three vices: tequila, chainsmoking (strictly while drinking tequila), and lipstick.

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Historic trends and Supermodels || The Story of Elizabeth Siddal

Do you ever find yourself flicking through Instagram, or a magazine, or TV or any form of media ever and just thinking “I wish I looked like her.” Other people are just gorgeous aren’t they? Be it Kardashians, superheroes, supervillains, actresses, models and more, thanks to social media, it’s now easier than ever to compare yourself to others and try whatever fad is trending to get the look. Sucks being a millennial right? I bet they didn’t have to deal with this shit 200 years ago?

Nope. Turns out that throughout history women have been trying to “get the look,” often in dangerous ways. As someone who’s interested in medicine and health as well as fashion and beauty, the case of Elizabeth Siddal is simply fascinating.

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