fom. no. 2

In Honor of Kimye's Nuptials

Words by Gina, image courtesy of E!.

When “Bound 2” came out, I was wary of watching it because I worry about the media narrative around Kim and Kanye. They’re both so important to western media culture, alone and together, and I didn’t want to read a million blog posts picking it apart. It wasn’t until my friend Brenna convinced me to watch it all the way through that I finally understood something I had wondered about since Kanye made his first appearance on Keeping Up With the Kardashians. Naturally, I spent the whole night crying. Every time I thought I was done, a new wave of wracking sobs would start. For the next week, whenever I felt like I needed to smile or feel less cynical about the world, I would go and watch the video. To this day I haven’t read a single review of it. Fuck critics.

Here’s why the video is so important to me: Kim, who has brilliantly made a long and respectable career out of a sex tape publicized without her permission, who is part of the largest matriarchal empire in America, is the sexual object in the video. She’s sexualized through her own gaze – Kim also played a large role in the production of the video – while Kanye takes a metaphorical backseat. There’s no logical narrative to the video, but what unfolds is a love story. Kanye raps in shadowed relief while the green screen behind him shows revolving scenes of nature. When we first see Kim, she is silhouetted in black and slowly brought into the light. The camera never loses focus on her, on her movement and her smile and how her eyes always land on Kanye watching her. They’re tactile with one another, smooth and soft with their transitions, and as the video comes to a climax, quickly cutting between shots of both of them facing the camera, the last and final scene we see is of Kanye pulling Kim towards him, whispering into her neck.

Look, it doesn’t matter what he whispered to her. That’s not ours to have. It doesn’t matter if the video tells a traditional story, or if it fits into your shitty journalistic view of art. All that matters is that Kim Kardashian was given the chance to recreate her first bittersweet taste of the spotlight on her own terms. This video was the first moment I knew Kanye West deserves Kim Kardashian. We don’t know shit about their lives, but I can’t help thinking that Kim would agree with me here. 

There is no greater way of expressing your love for someone than to allow them to express themselves. This is their sex tape. This video gives me hope. 

Congratulations on your wedding, Kimye. You’re beautiful together. Gina has a duel masters in Library and Information Science and Pop Music Appreciation (one of which comes with a diploma).
The Era of the New Supermodel - Focus On Models: Liu Wen.

You know a model is doing her job right when you open your new issue of Vogue and see her three times before even getting to the table of contents! Liu Wen, however, is not just any model. Standing at nearly six feet tall, she looks down from the top of China’s modeling industry, and she’s not showing any signs of letting up. Western designers have her destined to become a household name in London, New York, and beyond.

Liu comes from a tiny fishing village in China’s Hunan Province, known for it’s fish and rice, not supermodels! Her first job was as a tour guide, where she used her natural charm and warm personality (not to mention her stunning looks) to woo all the tourists. However, money was still tight and she yearned for her own laptop, so she made what could be marked as the best decision of her life. She tried out for the New Silk Road World Modeling contest. For all of you who don’t know, this contest is a huge deal in China. Although Liu didn’t win, she caught the attention of many important fashion moguls. Two years later and a move to Beijing, Liu Wen landed her first cover, posing for a Chinese version of FHM.

Liu Wen was a hit after this, everyone was curious about the beautiful Asian model, and was compared to Asian great like Du Juan, Daul Kim, and Devon Aoki. Just three months after her first cover, she appeared in Editorials for prominent magazines like Chinese Vogue and Chinese Harper’s Bazaar. The rest of 2007 wasn’t that bad for her either; she was styled as Karl Lagerfeld, Viktor and Rolf and other designers in an editorial for ChineseCosmopolitan and landing on the cover of the Chinese version of Marie Claire.

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In 2008, she was scouted and signed to popular Parisian modeling agencyMarilyn. Signing with Marilyn put her in the international spotlight and she was featured in shows for Chanel, Hermes, Jean Paul Gaultier, Kenzo, and Maison Marin Margiela. She closed the show for Trussardi’s Fall/Winter 2008 show, and was offered another opportunity to pose for an Elle cover alongside Emma Pei. The accomplishments don’t stpo there, she was chosen as the face of Calvin Kelin’s One line, photographed by Steven Misiel, and named one Style.com’s Top Ten Newcomer’s of The Season.

2009 was the year of Liu Wen. She came in second for most booked model of the season, with seventy shows, working the runway for big labels like Chanel, Anna Sui, Dolce & Gabbana, Jean Paul Gaultier, Lanvin, Chloe, and alexander McQueen, did advertisements for DKNY, and was offered countless covers. However, she brok history in the fall of 2009, becoming the first Asian model to ever walk the Victoria’s Secret Runway.

We weren’t surprised in 2010 when Liu Wen became the new face of Calvin Klein’s new fragrance CK, and became the first Asian face of cosmetics company Estee Lauder, something most models spend their whole careers vying for.

Here it is, 2011, and Liu Wen still hasn’t left our minds. She is a true beauty inside and out, and has defied the odds to become one of the most accomplished supermodels ever. She has no plans on stopping either. My personal Model Of the Moment says, “I will shoot as long as I can.”

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