perfect

Top model vain
photographic depth
reel-crisp resolution
black white
editorial

The masses kneel at the surface
of the image you create
glossy full color contemplation
lipstick, liner, lashes, lush

Stilling spectacle into high fashion gloss
broad lights flash into image
designed to entice
to imprint attraction
to reel people in
projecting perfection
creating a world
dotted with disfigured figures
starved to matchsticks
tormented, then dormant
Top model dead.

Brenda Warren 2012

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
Process Notes: The words from The Sunday Whirl this week were vain, dotted, dormant, reel, kneeling, surface, still, spectacle, depth, resolution, contemplate, broad, and crisp. Occasionally, I watch America’s Next Top Model on television with my daughter, the photo shoots are often visually stunning.  All of the girls are competing for a modeling contract….fulfilling a fantasy.

I do not believe that all model’s are vain, but the word vain is what compelled me to consider the modeling industry. In addition to that, one of the speeches I watched at a speech meet this weekend was an original oratory piece written by a young survivor of anorexia. Anorexia is complex and disturbing. This is a surface treatment of the disease.

Ana Carolina Reston died at the age of 22. If you google her name you’ll find pictures of her. You may recognize her. The difference between her face in those pictures, and the picture below, is astounding. I found the picture below at Wendy Mag.

Ana Carolina Reston

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30 thoughts on “perfect

  1. Brenda – a beautiful poem – with vibrant imagery on an incredibly important issue – this poem and the accompanying tribute photograph begs a much wider audience – Bravo!

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  2. Brenda, as a short, curvy, never-gonna-be-a-top-model woman, I appreciate this cautionary poem so much. We allow fantasy and fakery to form our self-images in this media-driven culture; it needs to stop.

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  3. There’s also plastic surgery. In Asia, there seems to be young women who’d undergo surgery to look like anime. Physical perfection seems to play such a big role in how women feel about themselves thanks to pop culture. I note, another piece that’s social commentary! I love watching America’s next top model. It’s fashion + photography = art (mixed with reality TV).

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  4. dotted with disfigured figures – totally agree..Like Cheryl says, I do not envy models at all.. Your piece is powerful..

    Sorry to change the emotions here – But I could always photoshop myself if really needed –

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  5. Lush, stunning images, especially when seen in contrast to the photographic image. It’s frightening, isn’t it, what we do to our bodies to achieve some imaginary or imposed ideal of perfection. And I wonder sometimes how anyone can (as a fellow human being) bear to photograph – and especially, publish – photos like that… when the girls so obviously need help.

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  6. I like the same lines Laurie does and agree with Mary that the words disappear into the poem. What angers me is the photographers, the editors, the fashion people, anyone who looks at someone like this and photographs them instead of refusing to photograph them unless they start seeing a doctor. That’s a sad commentary.margo

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    • Absolutely, Margo. That this photo was taken is astounding. I do not know the context of the shot….if it was an anti anorexia piece, perhaps….but anything else is criminal.

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  7. This is a painfully honest look at the world of fashion photography. Brilliant commentary, Brenda. Your last stanza is especially powerful! It is troubling and so very sad.

    And by the way, thank you for your comments about sidewalk poetry. I just added the link to my blog a few days ago. It’s such a remarkable concept, isn’t it? And I feel so blessed to have one of my poems out there! There has been a wonderful, positive response to the concept. If you click on the photo of my sidewalk poem, you can read it in it’s entirety. 🙂

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  8. You have woven the wordle words into a powerful and insightful piece. So much truth in your words.

    “The masses kneel at the surface
    of the image you create
    glossy full color contemplation
    lipstick, liner, lashes, lush”

    Really nice writing too!

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  9. Wow,Brenda, the wordle words got lost in your poem, which made a needed statement. What price ‘beauty.’ (And in whose eyes?) What a horrible price to pay to gain theonly prize there can be at the end of such a journey….death.

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  10. The pictures may be works of art, but the models are travesties of feminity. I’m sure regular sized models would sell more clothes – to normally sized people. A very clever wordle, emotionally powerful.

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  11. OMG- this is amazing…

    creating a world
    dotted with disfigured figures
    starved to matchsticks
    tormented, then dormant
    Top model dead.

    …the picture, too. Such a sad and misunderstood disease that I fear may have more victims in the future with all this stress on dieting.

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    • Some of the pictures are works of art in themselves, too. I like those magazines, too, and find myself picking them up from time to time, just for the photographs. Thanks for stopping, Cheryl. Great idea using textures in collage. You just might have inspired an afternoon activity. 🙂

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