(via fashion gone rogue)
I make no small secret of my heterosexual love affair with Lara Stone. If any of you follow my (VERY NSFW) tumblr +/-, you will notice that I post many a photo of Ms. Stone's fantastic boobs. I'm as straight as an arrow, but gee whiz, Lara Stone gets me all hot n' bothered.
That being said, Lara Stone said something recently that my left my girl boner as flaccid as a deflated balloon.
Lara Stone does not like working with female photographers.
"They seem to never be able to make up their minds about what they want to do - with the exception of Inez [van Lamsweerde] because she always knows what she's doing," Stone told Marc Jacobs in Interview.
Dutch photographer Inez van Lamsweerde, it is worth adding, works in a team with Vinoodh Matadin.
Stone continued, "But so many times it's like, ‘Oh, let's try this' and ‘Let's try that' and ‘Let's do this' and ‘Let's do that.' It's like, ‘For f—k's sake, woman!'"As a female photographer, this breaks my heart a little. And I think it's worth examining from a socialogical and personal perspective. I am going to be approaching this issue from a heteronormative paradigm, so keep in mind that the dynamics I am going to discuss may not necessarily relate to the GLBT population.
Firstly, men are socialized from a very early age to objectify women. This is not a matter up for debate, it's widely accepted as fact. Male photographers make their career out of objectifying women. They are paid to produce work from a gendered gaze in order to sell a product. In fashion photography this product can be a garment, or it in the case of porn, sexualization. Either way, the model's sense of humanity takes a backseat to the profitting subject. Because men are attracted to women, it's virtually impossible for them to be objective about their models' bodies. By nature, they are going to be subjective. It's this subjectivity allows men to direct models in ways that are most flattering for a typical heterosexual male. I've witnessed this dynamic at photoshoots on various occasions. It's easy for men to pose models because they don't view the model as a person - they view her as an object.
I hate to say this, and I won't name any names...but most male photographers I know are somewhat of a self-aggrandizing sexist pig who secretly (or not so secretly) wants to sleep with his models. This certainly isn't true of every single male photographer, of course, but seems to be an emerging theme among them.
Female photographers, perhaps, are more hesitant to objectify another woman, even professionally. We are more inclined to look at our models as professional women deserving of our basic respect. Much of my work involves nudity, but I always make a point to present my models as living, breathing people, regardless of how much clothes they are wearing. It's hard to express sexuality in my photography without depersonalizing my models, but as a woman, I feel that I cannot create work in any other way.
The female experience teaches us to stay quiet, bow our heads, answer questions indirectly, and keep our feelings to ourselves lest we be labeled "hysterical". As such, many women (myself included) have a difficult time expressing ourselves in professional situations. This difficulty also contributes to the pay gap between men and women. Female photographers simply are not taught how to be assertive in ways that men are. And it all can be traced back to our childhood experiences of "boys are loud, girls are quiet". Men are taught from a younger age to be more direct and forceful, and this translate into "decisiveness" in the workplace.
Personally, I am awful at directing my models. This is probably my biggest hinderance in advancing my work forward. At shoots, I am awkward and confused and I have many ideas, just no way to express them. I know that my models become irritated as I struggle to quanitify my vision. So I certainly understand where Lara Stone is coming from. But the situation is more nuanced than she understands, and stems from a variety of unequalities that exist between men and women.