Big Move for Youtube?

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Youtube allowing topless girls?

Well, apparently yes– for now. In the recent music video for the song “Thinking About You” by Calvin Harris and Ayah Marar, there is an actress whom is seen topless– fully exposed breasts and butt for almost a full minute– and there are other scenes of more taboo relationships (women with other women, stripping down to only underwear for another woman, an orgy, and teenagers literally fighting over a girl). And then there is the Justin Timberlake video “Tunnel Vision,” which features completely naked women. While both of these videos are not demeaning women nor objectifying them by exposing them– I find this to be more tasteful than some of the skimpy outfits they make women wear in other videos– this is a huge step forward for youtube and music videos.

While images and videos like this have been commonly accepted in Europe for years, in the US we are rather use to covering women up (maybe not in the classiest manner, but their nipples and crotch are relatively covered, right?). Rather than taking the videos down when they premiered, Youtube moved them to Vevo, their video partner, and now simply have a warning for parents before the video starts. Now, does this mean that more music videos will feature female nudity (or, oh my, male nudity?!?!), I can’t say. But does this make me happy to see? Yes, that we aren’t being such a prudish country that obviously enjoys sexual images (watch any television show, let’s be honest here), but likes to keep the reality of it hidden away. Let me be frank– we all need to grow up a little and be more honest about what really goes on between the sheets.

What do you think of this move for Youtube? Do you agree with it, or do you think these videos should be censored?

  • (“Thinking About You (Explicit)” by Calvin Harris ft. Ayah Marar)
  • (“Tunnel Vision (Explicit)” by Justin Timberlake)

Skinny Girls Have No Problems, Right? Wrong.

Skinny girls have no problems in life, right? Like, every guy flocks to them, every girl is jealous of her, and she can wear whatever she wants. The world and her life are as magical as a box of Lucky Charms being held by a unicorn, right?

Wrong.

Some of you may be already rolling your eyes over this post– a skinny girl complaining about how her life isn’t perfect and why being skinny, which is the supposed ideal of American society, doesn’t make life any easier for her. Yes, I can completely see why people would have that immediate reaction and I can understand the logic behind that too. After all, we are confronted on a daily basis about how being thin makes people, especially women, more successful, beautiful, and strong somehow. There are so many diet commercials, and they are all marketing to that notion that being thin will make life better. You will make more money, have a hotter partner, have amazing hookups or intimate relationships, and people will want to be you. But, is there any real logic behind any of this?

First of all, being thinner does not affect your chances of finding a Ryan Gosling-like mate. To be honest, my current boyfriend has been my first serious, as in more than one or two dates, boyfriend. I had a lot of male friends, and still do, but most of them would tell me that my small frame and lack of a chest and curves would harm my chances with the opposite sex. As one of my friends kindly worded to me, “Guys like something to grab onto.”

Another issue– clothing. People tell me all the time that shopping must be so easy for me since I am thin. It isn’t, by any standard. There are only a few stores that carry my size– I am limited to basically Urban Outfitters, Forever 21, and overly priced boutiques– and even then, they have an extremely limited stock of my size. Due to the fact the average American woman is a size 10 to 14, the stores will most likely stop carrying sizes 0 to 4– it isn’t in as high of a demand, so less inventory of it. There are also issues that go beyond the clothes in terms of shopping with being thin. People scrutinize you and if you ask for a size smaller, and they do not carry it, then the sales representative may just kindly tell you to “eat more” in front of other customers.

And, finally, the stereotyping the reason for their thinness. People assume people whom are larger eat to much– that they caused it on themselves– and people thus assume that those whom are thin don’t eat enough or at all. People tell people whom are thin to eat more– never mind that maybe they do eat three meals a day and they are thin from their natural metabolism or a disease or because of a sport they play, not because they are skipping meals or vomiting them up.

Am I typing this post to tell everyone that women who are thinner have more problems than the rest of the world? No. I am typing this to tell the world that every woman faces judgement and insecurities for her body. Whether you are thin or curvy, have a D cup or an A cup, wear a size 2 or a size 20, we all face judgment from the opposite sex and our own gender (hello, horizontal sexism!). My whole point for writing this is to basically express my opinion, which is that we all face issues with our body shape, weight, and self-image. No one thinks they are perfect– or, if there is anyone out there whom does, please comment and let me know, because in the 19 years of my life I have never met someone whom has honestly felt that way– so why make it harder on each other by saying one group has it easier than another?

What do you think? Am I wrong and one body type has it easier than another? Or do you agree and think all people, especially women, face judgement for their body type?

Do Fashion Ads Make Sex Suck?

There have been countless studies showing that fashion advertisements have effected people’s self-esteem, but could fashion ads be effecting your love life and relationships? What about your sex life?

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Let’s talk about the one thing everyone seems to agree on in terms of fashion advertisements– the affects on self-esteem. There have been countless studies and research done to show that these ads do make people have a lower self-esteem because people are subconsciously (or even consciously in some cases) comparing themselves to the people in the ads; but there has been a recent study by professors at the University of Michigan and the University of Manitoba showing that it depends on the advertisement. Ads that have blatant displays of female idealization– so, makeup ads for example– make women feel better about themselves because they consciously realize what the ad is trying to do. But other ads that feature beautiful people but in a more subtle way– let’s look at a jewelry advertisement, like this one below from Bulgari– are what hits home for our self-esteems. Apparently, when it is obvious, we are immune to the displays of beauty and therefore an integral part of the ad, but if the model is selling us something we can physically can differentiate from them (more than makeup; like clothes, perfume, or accessories), we begin to question our own beauty and feel negativity.

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We all have seen these advertisements that show that “sex sells”– but does it effect our perceptions of love and sex? Does it create new expectations and perceptions of sex? Well, to begin this concept, let’s look at fashion in general. In a documentary done by the BBC, they showed that people buy from specific brands– such as Gucci, Louis Vuitton, and Burberry– because we want to show we are successful and therefore can have the best partner (or, “mate” to be scientific). So, automatically, the fashion industry is effecting whom we are attracted to and want to have a relationship and (eventual) children with– and this applies even if you don’t want children, your body is subconsciously controlling this.

Now, let’s starting looking at a deeper level at advertisements. There are many fashion brands that use blatant sexuality– such as the Versace ads I have at the top of this post– and there are arguments that these ads make it subconsciously okay for sexual abuse and violence (Versace is heavily criticized and said to encourage “gang bangs” through their ads). But does this all set us up for expectations in terms of sex, sort of how pornography has for decades? Do we expect by purchasing one of these products that our sex lives will immediately become steamy and so hot that we not only have one hugely-muscled man lusting after us, but four? Does this also make us think that if we are with a person who owns these products that means they are some wild, crazy animal in bed that will satisfy our every desire? Let’s be honest, just how not every women can do a split like a porn star, not every Calvin Klein or Versace wearing-man will have more abs than Gerard Butler in 300 or be the best partner ever. Maybe he is some guy that looks more like someone on The Big Bang Theory; or maybe he is incredibly hot, but is not that great in the bedroom. What if we are just left disappointed in the end?

Even advertisements that don’t feature overly buff and oiled men can create this sexual friction with reality. Such as this Chanel ad from 2009– it features two women standing very close, which inclines the viewer to think the women will kiss.

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Or there is even this Gucci campaign from the Summer of 2012 collection that alluded to both sensuality between the two female models, but with a third member as well (threesome reference, anyone?)

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Or even an ad with one model can effect our perceptions of sex. There are obvious ones like the Burberry ad for their perfume, which features Rosie Wellington completely naked except for a trench coat and you can clearly get an reference to her pleasuring herself. Or, there are even less obvious ones like the this one by Prabal Gurung– the model is alone and fully clothed, but her expression and body position allude to something completely different.

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So, I am just curious whether fashion advertisements are setting expectations for people in terms of their sexual relationships. That by purchasing these clothes we can have four men wanting to have sex with us at one time, we will have men and women lusting after us (maybe even leading to threesomes?), and even our feeling of self-pleasure will become better. That by buying a $6,000 coat or dress will make me so desirable and every aspect of my love life orgasmic. Really? I mean, I love fashion and the advertisements like a lot of people, but some of them go too far. I would still want the dress even if the model wasn’t going to get gang banged; or I would still want the jacket even if the models weren’t on the verge of making out with each other. Do I need to be shown this and it possibly make me have silly expectations for sex in order for me to buy something? Really?

Do I really need to see this to buy your product? Shouldn’t I be wanting it and buying because I want it, not because I want it?

What do you think? Do you think ads, especially fashion ones, are effecting our love lives and sexual expectations? Please comment below and let me know.

Photo of the Month: May

Photo of the Month: May

Well, currently popular culture is swarming with 1920s fashion and references due to the release of the highly expected film, The Great Gatsby. Rather than picking one of the many current editorials of 1920s inspired fashion, I wanted to pay tribute to fashion history. Despite my upkeep of current trends and styles, I am a huge lover of fashion history. I am usually reading a biography on a designer (Chanel is one of my favorites to read about) or an era and how fashion impacted it.

This particular image is from the Vogue’s March issue of 1922. The cover is drawn by Georges Lepape (1887 – 1971), who was a big fashion illustrator from France. His career was at its peak from 1912 to 1925. He was also the first illustrator to introduce movement to images– he would draw models walking in and out of the image.

Vogue was the leading fashion magazine at the time and worked with such artists as Lepape and Salvador Dali. They showed both European and American fashions and showed the epitomization and wealth and desires of the era.

What do you think of the photo? Do you have a recommendation for June? And what do you think of all the 1920s fashion?

Keep Calm and…Rape Shirts?

Keep Calm and...Rape Shirts?

I try not to rant on this website too much; I designed 1st on Trend to be a forum for fashion and pop culture, not rants. After all, I am just another college student in America– how are my rants any more effective than any other person’s in the world? Quite simply, they’re not. However, I just couldn’t let this topic go. It bothered me down to a point where I had to write about it.

Whether I have been noticing more of these events due to me taking a Women’s Studies course or just the fact these events are happening more recently, I have no idea. But, no matter how or why these events are happening, there seems to be an increase in sexist comments being produced in pop culture recently. Whether it is the fact that women have made some legislative advances (women now being permitted on the front lines in military combat and the renewal of the Violence Against Women Act) or whatever, there have been some equally wrong things to be happening in popular culture.

A few days ago the clothing company Solid Gold Bomb, which is known for t-shirts sold on Amazon, released some t-shirts with sexist slogans based on the over-done World War II phrase “Keep Calm and Carry On.” The slogans included “Keep Calm and Rape A Lot” and “Keep Calm and Hit Her.”

Really? I mean, come on, really? These slogans completely make no sense and beat out the whole “Cool Story Babe, Now Make Me a Sandwich” shirts– or even the infamously moronic “YOLO” shirts (I only like the Lonely Island song, personally)– in stupidity. These shirts not only make no sense but are demeaning towards both genders. It is demeaning towards women for the obvious reasons of it making rape and domestic abuse a joke, but it is demeaning towards men in that it completely ignores the fact that men are beaten and raped in relationships too. It also continues the inaccurate notion “don’t get raped” rather than “don’t rape.”

With shirts and slogans like this being released (although they were recently taken down by the company with an apology letter) it is no wonder that there are still sexist comments and beliefs still being put out. Such as, the University of Colorado at Colorado Springs recently published an amended Student Handbook with edited gun-control policies…and a “ten tips on how not to get raped” section. These “tips” included peeing yourself, vomiting, and telling your rapist that you have a disease or are on your menstrual cycle. It only took CNN, the Huffington Post, and Cosmopolitian Magazine to publish articles on it for UCCS to take the list down and say it was originally from 2006.

Nevertheless, this is silly and amazing that there is this amount of sexism still occurring. Women have been attending public educational institutions and voting for at least a century and yet women still are not being treated equal. Yes, the Hill is debating over the important issues of whether I, as a woman, have the rights to equal pay and legislature over my own body as a man does, but what about the idiotic things my generation seems to encourage? No one seemed annoyed by the “I (heart) boobies” wrist bands or even the “Cool Story Babe, Now Make Me a Sandwich” shirts, but does it take an extreme like this to make us realize that the current generation has sexist comments and beliefs too? Do they all have to be this extreme for us to even react anymore?

What do you think of the shirts? And what do you think of other possibly sexist comments/slogans that are in pop culture?

Fashion Photo of the Month: March

Fashion Photo of the Month: March

With Easter this month and the recent Pope’s resignation, this image seemed fitting for this month. The photo was done by Ben Trovato and features a model in a black outfit, a ring of flowers in her hair, and leaning against a black cross.

Now whether people will respond positively or not to this image (and so everyone is clear, I was raised Catholic but currently am a “casual Christian”) has yet to be seen, but I hope everyone can respect the artistic nature of this photo.

What do you think of the image? Do you like it or not? And do you have a recommendation for April’s photo?

The Best of New York Fashion Week

Well, New York Fashion Week has wrapped up and after sneak-watching every runway in classes (who schedules classes during Fashion Week anyway?) for the past week, I have compiled my list of my favorite runways of New York Fashion Week.

1.) Oscar de la Renta

Some say that this collection paid tribute to John Galliano, but no matter what, this collection truly impressed me. I had gotten a bit bored with Oscar de la Renta’s previous runways because he seemed to be following the same aesthetic for the past few seasons. Now, this collection followed the whimsical style aesthetic that he is known for, but had a sophisticated and modern flair. Looking forward to more of these gorgeous dresses and designs!

2.) Ralph Lauren

I have been in love with Ralph Lauren’s latest collections– am I the only one who obsessed over their Spring 2013 collection with the wide hats and black and gold dresses?– and this is no exception. This collection was very beautiful and followed their cool, edgy style.

3.) Marchesa

Marchesa is a brand that has become known for its ball gown-like dresses and romantic styling. This collection continued with that aesthetic and added a different type of romance to the look. I personally would wear any of these dresses in a heart beat (who cares that I have no where to wear them to?).

4.) Jason Wu

This was my favorite runway presentation due to the gorgeous runway and chandelier in the middle of it. The collection was cool and edgy, with modern punk influences, and I loved how it complimented the runway itself.

5.) Calvin Klein 

I liked the urban, edgy design to this collection and, while some of my friends did not like the lack of color, I loved the all black collection. I truly liked the style and would wear any piece from the collection– but I also wear nothing else but black, white, and red.

6.) Caroline Herrera 

I loved the dresses in this collection– they were beautiful, amazing, and absolutely stunning. I loved how they seemed made of gold and silver and like they were molded to the models’ bodies.

7.) Victoria Beckham 

I loved the dresses in this collection– especially the purple dresses– and would want to wear any of them. I love Beckham’s sleek and sophisticated style and think she has made several beautiful collections over the past few years.

8.) Donna Karan 

Donna Karan’s collection was very lovely and the jackets were stunning. Most likely, those jackets will be the “It” item of the Fall season and will be redesigned in many ways. The collection was simple, but had modern and gorgeous silhouettes that made it stand out at Fashion Week.

9.) Michael Kors

This was a different type of style for Michael Kors, but I liked it overall. I did not like the camouflage and the sunglasses (please stop showing all of your models with weird sunglasses, Mr. Kors!), but I loved all the looks after this one gray dress and all of the dresses at the very end.

10.) Tommy Hilfiger

I really liked this collection, particularly since it was based on the tailoring of Saville Row in London, but I did not like how similar every look was. There could have a little more diversity in the collection, but overall it was the tailoring that made me really like and remember this collection.

What do you think? And what were your favorite collections and/or trends for the Fall 2013 season?