children's doll

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Someone in the notes of the last Leyendecker post I reblogged mentioned having difficulty telling his work and Rockwell’s apart, and I know from experience that many people get them confused, which is somewhat astonishing as, to my eyes, their styles are very distinct. Leyendecker was Rockwell’s idol and mentor, but they were very different people and were interested in portraying different aspects of humanity, even when the basic subject matter was the same.

Surface-level, here are some differences:

  • Leyendecker smoothed out faults and imperfections (in the young. he stylized them in the old); Rockwell exaggerated them to mild or moderate caricature
  • Leyendecker approached his paintings as sculpture- even the merest clothing folds are carved out of the paint; Rockwell approached his paintings as drawings- the underlying contour always shines through.
  • Leyendecker used broad hatching brushstrokes and areas of smooth shine; Rockwell used more naturalistic texture and lighting
  • Leyendecker created idolized, larger-than-life figures that feel Hellenistic in their perfection; Rockwell created intimate scenes populated by figures that feel familiar in their specificity
  • Leyendecker’s best and most comfortable work was as a fashion/lifestyle illustrator; Rockwell’s best and most comfortable work was as an editorial/humor illustrator 
  • Leyendecker created beautiful still lives with his figures; Rockwell told compelling stories
  • Leyendecker often created erotic tension in his paintings; Rockwell almost never did.

See below: Two paintings of soldiers with women, but in Rockwell’s there is a clear punchline, and while the poses are contrived for the sake of composition, they’re not self-conscious. The women are pretty- as demanded by the central joke- but not truly sexualized anywhere but in the mind of the young soldier who is being overloaded with cake and attention. 

Contrast Leyendecker’s soldiers with a young nurse. Everyone in this image is posing attractively- no one has their mouth full or ears sticking out. Each crease and fold is sharp and sculptural, and the light picks out their best features- in particular the shoulders and posterior of the soldier facing away from the viewer. There is neither joke nor story, merely a group of beautiful young people, portrayed with deft brushwork and graceful lines. (and check out that hatching! That’s indicator #1 that you’ve got a Leyendecker image)

Leyendecker was very comfortable with “hot young things wearing clothes”, and did them very VERY well, but his facility with idealization came at the cost of personalization, which was fine for fashion illustration, but shows in his domestic scenes: 

Beautiful, but… cold. (Also, that hand on the left- who holds a baby with their hand like that??? Good lord, J.C.) Compare a Rockwell illustration (for a baby food brand, I believe) of a mother and baby: this is clearly a real and individual young mother and baby, interacting exactly how parents and babies really interact.

Even when they did basically the same content, and putting aside posing or composition or anything other than objective visual analysis, it’s still obvious who is who:

  • Red: NR’s smoother rendering vs JCL’s super cool hatching
  • Green: NR’s naturalistic cloth folds vs JCL’s sculptural stylization
  • Blue: NR’s natural lighting vs JCL’s world where everything is shiny

Now go forth, confident in the knowledge that you’ll never confuse a Rockwell or a Leyendecker ever again, and can refute any claim that their styles are ‘virtually identical’. 

Pay attention, 2014 Mad Men: This little girl is holding a LEGO set. The LEGOs are not pink or “made for girls.” She isn’t even wearing pink. The copy is about “younger children” who “build for fun.” Not just “girls” who build. ALL KIDS.

In an age when little girls and boys are treated as though they are two entirely different species by toy marketers, this 1981 ad for LEGO — one of our favorite images ever — issues an important reminder.

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White people really do not understand the idea of cultural appropriation so I’m gonna explain it to you one y’alls level okay? Bc the absurdity of these counter-arguments I’m getting is out of hand, and I’m tired of arguing with people so far beneath my level on a subject that harms me more than them.

You live in a little village where everyone is identified by the clothes they wear. Everyone in the village has a blue shirt. Your family has a blue shirt with polka dots on it. The people in your village eat lots of tasty yellow fruit with a special mixture of spices and pray to a fruit god every time you eat them. You also eat lots of nuts, but that’s not as important. This is your village’s culture. 

There is rumored to be a village to the west of you, where everyone is given a special toy shaped like an animal when they are born. It is very important to every individual, and means a lot to them. They keep it and polish it all their lives, and it is burned when they die. They eat special starchy balls full of meat, but also once a month,make a drink that honors their dead. This is their culture.

If…

The two villages have grown bigger and bigger over time, which makes them spread closer and closer to eaach other. There are no big territorial battles- the two villages like each other and sometimes share resources. If someone from the first village passes through the second, someone might give them some of their food for the trip and vice versa, so now some people in each village like and sometimes make the food of the other. A few people who have made close friends with people in the other village begin wearing colored shirts like them, or giving their children a special animal doll because someone from that village explained why that was special and invited them to do so. Things from each culture are shared with respect and friendship, and this happened naturally. This is CULTURAL INTEGRATION.

If….

The shirt-wearing village considers itself bigger and stronger. They have invented spears that help them hunt, but think maybe hunting would be even easier if they had more wood from the other villages territory, and less competition. So they decide to invade, fight and kill people in the animal-doll village. They kill some of their stronger warriors and subdue the rest of the villagers. When they are done, they let these villagers into their village as long as they agree to stop carving animal dolls, as long as they agree to learn their language, and as long as they agree to eat and dress like them, and leave their culture behind. This is CULTURAL ASSIMILATION.

If….

People from the two villages see each other from time to time but aren’t all that friendly. The shirt-wearing village likes the look of the dolls from the animal-doll village, and decides to make their own just like them, without asking. They’ve heard the dolls have a complex ceremony and meaning, but they don’t care. To the animal-doll village’s dismay, they learn that the shirt-wearers have been making ‘soulless’ animal dolls that are not connected to a villager, are not prayed over the right way, and in their belief is a dead and cursed thing. They never asked, and they did not follow the rules. In the meantime, many shirt-wearers steal fish from the animal-doll village’s fishing cages, stomp on their crops for fun when they are drunk, and make rude faces at them when they see them in the fields. They learn how to make the special drink they commune with the dead with, but drink it all the time, carelessly, and still won’t talk nicely to the animal-doll village people. They are mostly disrespectful, but still take things from the other village without being nice to them, and without asking. They enjoy the things the animal-doll people make, but do not enjoy them, and cause them suffering. This is CULTURAL APPROPRIATION.

And lastly….

You, a shirt-wearer with a blue spotted shirt, are playing with a toy. Another child comes up to you and in a friendly manner, asks to play. You hand them your toy. This is sharing.

Another day, a different child with a red shirt points at your blue shirt, makes fun of it, and takes your toy. This is stealing. This is more like Cultural Appropriation.

You guys need to learn that there are more ways for a culture to spread than just Appropriation. Cultural Appropriation is not ‘the sharing of a culture’. Fighting Cultural Appropriation does not keep cultures from evolving. It is simply pointing out that consent matters with culture, too, and when you take something from a culture you still disrespect and oppress, it’s not consensual, and the people do not have to let you do it.

huffingtonpost.com
'I Am Jazz' Transgender Doll To Debut At NYC Toy Fair
Reality TV star thanks doll company "for being so progressive."

YES! Jazz is so frigging awesome. Kudos to Tonner for letting modernity change his mind about people who are different. More of this, please.

  • Hong Kong: like, happy Mother's Day!
  • England: ... to me or China?
  • Hong Kong: both of you, duh.
  • America: hey, my gift is for both England and China too! Plus France~!
  • Canada: I have a gift for England, France... and China.
  • France: oh cuties~!! I have a gift for China as well.
  • Japan: wait... does everyone have gifts for China?
  • England: I think so... I have a gift for China too...
  • Russia: same~~
  • China: wait- what??
  • Most of the countries: ... Happy Mother's Day!!
  • China: ... how did I gain so many children- OH CUTE PANDA DOLL!