This wasn’t a reality show, nor was it one of the elite bookings Anna enjoyed back in New York or Milan. We were there for a fake beauty pageant, one our Beijing modeling agency had booked us for, telling us it was a “fashion show” and providing no further details. It was only after we boarded our early-morning flight to Ordos that the true nature of the event was revealed. “We’re on our way to another ‘Miss’ thing,” a Ukrainian girl said from her seat with a groan. I was hired as Miss America; Anna, despite being Brazilian, as Miss Chile. It would have been the strangest 36 hours of my life—if, over the previous two months, I hadn’t done it twice before.Life as a Fake Beauty Queen in Small-Town China
How the Internet Changed the World of Fashion: from seapunk and normcore to vaporwave and health goth.
Where I See Fashion is a tumblr which pairs fashion-related pictures with images containing art/architecture/nature/design/texture elements that could have conceivably inspired them. The "Click to Hide Text" link on the left offers more streamlined viewing experience, or check them out on Instagram. Via: 1, 2
The New York Times asks seven 'experts': Does makeup ultimately damage a woman’s self-esteem, or elevate it? [more inside]
The Decorated Bride - "In Lubinje, a small, picturesque village of 3500 inhabitants, a few hours from Prishtina, the capital of Kosovo, members of the Trebesh community live in colorful houses. They also have a colorful custom - or rite - of beautifying brides on their wedding day."
The New York Times reports that anime-style "Circle" (or "Big Eye") lenses are currently gaining in popularity, thanks to Lady Gaga's Bad Romance video. [more inside]
Hidden World of Girls: Girls and the Women they Become is NPR's collaborative year-long, ongoing series between The Kitchen Sisters, NPR and listener submissions. The series explores "stories of coming of age, rituals and rites of passage, secet identities—of women who crossed a line, blazed a trail, changed the tide." [more inside]
The New York Times covers a 'new celebrity trend', Unshaven Women, Free Spirits or Unkempt?
"What you're looking for as a retoucher is a broom, something that covers your tracks, some way of obscuring where you've been. The first thing [most] people take out is bloodshot eyes. That's the last thing I take out—the last thing I'd, like, just wipe, because that just makes it look retouched." -- from Jesse Epstein's video op-ed for the NY Times, based on her film Wet Dreams and False Images ("I know that's not airbrushed. I could put a million dollars that's not airbrushed."), one of three related short documentaries on physical perfection. "Each head has to be identical to the other head, so we don't want anybody putting sandpaper to the head." -- from 34 x 25 x 36. Via the latest installment of Shakesville's Impossibly Beautiful series. (Previous posts on retouching.)
Geiko of Kyoto is a stunning photo gallery of Kyotos's Geisha - both the mature Geiko and the apprentice Maiko. Melissa Chasse annotates many photos with fascinating details and offers an account of her tea party with Mamechika, a lovely Maiko. For more, this lovely Geisha site offers a brief history from the era of the floating world, more photos, Ukiyo-e art, and links. Also see y2karls' prior definitive post on ukiyo-e.
Startlingly beautiful girl. What is her life like? Does she resent it? How uncomfortable must life be for this girl's boyfriend? Why do restaurants give her a 75% discount if she sits at a window table? Rhetorical questions all, but sometimes you gotta ask. Be sure to click the slideshow thingie. (NYtimes link)