provocations campaign

If you believe every bad thing you hear about PeTA just because they are recognized by the animal rights community as disreputable, I don’t think you’re paying close enough attention

If you knew someone who everyone disliked, would you believe everything they told you about this person just because it “sounds like something they would do”? Have some skepticism. Especially when it’s obvious that some people profit from the downfall of animal rights organizations. And you don’t think these people fabricate at least half of the “facts” on the “horrors” of these organizations? 

It’s also very hard to properly critique how PeTA makes use of sexuality, thinking “sex sells” and often featuring women in very provocative campaigns. Because on one hand, they may be promoting the objectification of women, putting the rights of animals above the rights of human women. Yet, on the other hand, these celebrities featured in provocative campaigns have made their personal choice to be seen in such a way, using their bodies as they see fit, and to accuse the advertisements of being sexist is to accuse those women of internalizing misogyny simply because they are not afraid to use their bodies freely. If a woman cannot use her body as she sees fit - for the sake of animal rights - then is she unfettered by slut shaming and sexist criticism? Regardless of whether or not these tactics work (it’s been pretty much confirmed they do not), I sometimes find it difficult to see what is wrong to have a campaign where a woman is naked in the photo and where the theme of the campaign is not shaming women’s bodies in some way (because I know they did have campaigns shaming women’s body hair and their weight). 

When it boils down to, I’ve always thought the animal rights community with more sense than to support PeTA should probably actively work to change that organization and its values instead of shunning it and treating it like a horrid sexist pus boil. PeTA continues to encourage young people to go vegetarian and vegan, and without proper intervention, those young people may grow to internalize the negative messages portrayed by PeTA campaigns, to associate that negativity with their advocacy. It’s why I kind of feel irked when I see people post “Vegans against PeTA” pictures on tumblr - it’s like they’re saying, “let the young vegetarians and vegans fend for themselves, educate themselves, and guide themselves, because my ego is too fucking big to give a shit about them.

Big Fashion Turn Offs
  • Adult Sizing/Child-Briding/Sexualizing Children

I don’t care what context you have chosen to justify your campaigns but in a country where issues like child marriages are grave, you don’t trivialize or perpetuate them. The campaign below caused such bad taste that the brand had to remove group photos from their social media pages because it was hurting their business (was proper proud).

  • Whitewashing/Brown facing

Just a visual comparison of the same model in two different fashion campaigns. Not to mention brands that hire foreign white models to sell traditional clothing or designers that go as far as brown facing a white passing model because… standard beauty ideals and commercial market woos.

  • Using underprivileged people as props

Unless you’re economically/socially empowering them, using them as props to make your campaigns look provocative or interesting is.. vomitrocious. I’m all for making social statements and pushing boundaries but doing that tastefully will only make your campaign more powerful. 

  • Overpricing Everyday Wear

An everyday fabric like lawn that wears out in a few months has become an out of reach luxury because it has been hijacked by high end designers and Birkin wearing socialites. No matter how much you adorn that lawn jora with embellishments, it will remain a lawn jora. 

All About Angels: An Interview with Russell James

It’s no secret—we’re known for our Angels. Their hair, their look, their je nais se quois. And for the past 15 years, world-renowned photographer Russell James has been bringing them to life from behind the lens. His new book, Angels, is a photographic tribute to some of the world’s most beautiful women, including Adriana Lima, Alessandra Ambrosio, Behati Prinsloo, Candice Swanepoel, Doutzen Kroes, Karlie Kloss, Lily Aldridge, Martha Hunt, Sara Sampaio, Brooklyn Decker, Gisele Bundchen, Heidi Klum, Kendall Jenner and Rihanna. We sat down with the mega-talented Aussie to talk Angels, Instagram insights and what it’s like to work with us for 15 years.  

You’ve been shooting for Victoria’s Secret since 1997. What has been your most memorable moment on set so far?

I could narrow that to memorable ‘moments’ in the plural—there have been so many! I think that at last year’s Fashion Show, suddenly being asked to take a single shot of all 40 girls in the show, was up there. The girls were so pumped up from having just come off stage and I had to chase them in every direction. Oh, and the day I had our model standing by the ocean for a swim shot in Mexico. A freak wave came through and took her, me, my assistants and camera equipment out completely.

Some people might say you have the best job in the world, but we know it’s not all fun and games. What’s the most challenging aspect of your work?

The most challenging part is actually making it feel like ‘fun and games’ to the amazing models I am so lucky to work with. There is so much that goes into planning a shoot. The models don’t see me, the producers and the creative team planning the shoot in the weeks before. However, my goal is to have a shoot that feels fun and effortless to the models, even though it is the complete opposite in reality.

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