Anything Goes

13 Comments for “Anything Goes”

  1. posted by Jorge on

    On the contrary, encouraging a prepubescent 10-year-old boy to present a hypersexualized/feminized image of himself on social media raises a number of concerns.

    (Let’s just say I’m convinced.)

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  2. posted by T. J. Travis on

    I love theboy’s eyes here, and I believe that anyone who wishes to show this kind of beauty should not be criticized. The boy here is very much adorable.

    Reply
  3. posted by JohnInCA on

    Well don’t leave me hanging! What are these concerns?

    For that matter, does the kid show racier pics elsewhere? Cause I can accept “feminized”, but “sexualized” needs more supporting evidence.

    Reply
  4. posted by Tom Scharbach on

    The article reminded me of the “Middle Child” exhibit at Madison’s Chazen museum last summer.

    Alex Orellana, a MFA graduate at UW-Madison, developed a series of photographs, all of him, morphing age and gender, using makeup and other devices. The work is, if you take a moment to link to it, quite interesting.

    Orellana’s description of the exhibit was:

    For transgender people, there is a prevailing narrative that success entails trading one binary identity for another to pass as the opposite sex. Synthetic estrogen or testosterone is often part of that process. Despite not wanting to transition, I have my own health reasons to take hormones, and the effects of that process led me to create this body of work. The medicine makes me increasingly androgynous, and I want to share the experience of how that affects my social interactions.

    Depending on if I’m read as male or female, I am often treated very differently. This read is based on subtle cues: depending on my hairstyle, clothes, posture, mannerisms, and company, there are assumptions that people make about my personality, capabilities, orientation, and interests.

    For this show I’ve made a series images of myself as different genders to show that the things we see as inherently masculine or feminine are arbitrary. I can affect my appearance to look more like a standard man or woman, but what do these appearances mean if I can occupy all of them from a single body? What assumptions am I inviting by making particular aesthetic decisions? And what exactly separates me from my sister and brother, or my mom and dad?

    I have photographed myself repeatedly with traits that “make” men and women; none of these things change who I am, none of them are essential.

    I have a friend of many years standing who is very androgynous. When he was young, he deliberately dressed on occasion to make it almost impossible to determine whether he was male or female. He’s older now and doesn’t do it any more, but I thought it was fascinating to see how people reacted to him, not having sufficient gender clues to treat him either as male or female.

    With respect to the kid, I didn’t react to the picture as “hypersexualized”, but that’s probably just me.

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    • posted by Jorge on

      With respect to the kid, I didn’t react to the picture as “hypersexualized”, but that’s probably just me.

      So obviously, the consensus is to leave aside the fact that he’s even using makeup in the first place at his age–a big no-no in the soc-con crowd but out of bounds of criticism in this permissive society of ours).

      As well as the fact that he’s using heavy makeup–a big no-no in the moderate crowd, but again.

      We’re basically judging what the makeup makes him look like.

      What the makeup makes him look like is a cross between a girl who may or may not have gotten her first period and either an anime male lead or a vertically challenged rentboy. In other words, someone who appeals to a deviant taste in sexuality. Well, I suppose if it’s a deviant sexuality he appeals to, again, we can’t gainsay it because it’s adult who should be responsible for their behavior.

      Well and good. But here’s the thing:

      1) Very strong deviation from the norm in how early he puts on makeup, and puts images that a person with perverse sexual tastes would find attractive online, and what you have is an invitation to disaster. Yes, I said it, “an invitation”, it’s slut-shaming. And that’s why most parents don’t let their kids put on makeup.

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      • posted by JohnInCA on

        So makeup = sexualization in Jorge-World, eh? That’s an… interesting… perspective. I’m gonna go out on a limb here and suggest that if someone putting on makeup makes them “sexualized” to you, that’s probably not their fault.

        That said, a quick google search tells me that 5th grade/10 years old is a normal age for girls to start wearing makeup publicly, so I’m not sure his age is the norm-violation you think it is.

        And that said, you’re gonna have to do a helluva lot better then “norms violation” to make me care. Give me an actual harm or danger that isn’t just “it’s strange and we don’t like it”.

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        • posted by Jorge on

          So makeup = sexualization in Jorge-World, eh?

          Uh, yes?

          I’m gonna go out on a limb here and suggest that if someone putting on makeup makes them “sexualized” to you, that’s probably not their fault.

          Don’t forget to open the door on your way out.

          And that said, you’re gonna have to do a helluva lot better then “norms violation” to make me care. Give me an actual harm or danger that isn’t just “it’s strange and we don’t like it”.

          You’re putting up a strawman by either reversing the clauses of my first argument, or separating out their interconnectedness in my second. I choose to stick with with engaging your point about who actually possesses personal responsibility when it comes to labeling certain behaviors as “sexualized.”

          By not opening the door before you leave a room, you end up walking into the door.

          Reply
          • posted by JohnInCA on

            Dude, you’re projecting your unacknowledged makeup fetish onto a kid, and declaring that because of your fetish, he should stop. And backing this up with a whole mess of “this violates norms!”

            So again: I’ll care when you bring up actual harms.

          • posted by Jorge on

            Dude, you’re projecting your unacknowledged makeup fetish onto a kid

            My fetish? That reasoning is straight out of the textbook of the Westboro Baptist Church. It’s like telling a straight ally that he’s homosexual for the simple reason that he recognizes homosexuality as a sexual orientation.

            You said you were going to go out on a limb, and I am a little concerned that you’re taking your time getting out there. Yet here you are again.

          • posted by Jorge on

            Next I’ll be hearing that I must be straight because I turn my head to the side whenever I follow behind a 20-something woman. *Some* men have learned not to let themselves get trapped in that situation.

          • posted by JohnInCA on

            … to recap:

            So makeup = sexualization in Jorge-World, eh?
            Uh, yes?

            This right here? This is why I’m calling it an unrecognized fetish. There is one reason, and one reason only for ignoring all the non-sexual reasons people put on make-up. And that’s if it’s always sexual for you, and you’re not self-aware enough to notice this.

            Bottom line? If you’re sexualizing a ten-year old because they’re wearing make-up, regardless of what the make-up actually is (light, heavy, drag, clown, whatever)? That’s not the kid’s fault. That’s your fault. Trying to blame them for how you feel is an asshole move.

  5. posted by David Bauer on

    Some kids wear makeup and Stephen is ready to pull out the pitchforks. God help the boy that plays with dolls in the presence of Stephen and his angry mob.

    Reply
  6. posted by George on

    I think his eye makeup is delicious. If he has come to understand a new path in his life, his expressions are definitely worthy.

    Reply

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