For this critical essay, it will be talking about how the photographic medium has played a role to articulate and offer a lifestyle choice and the opportunity of “self- invention” through a visual communication. Looking at such works of Mike Featherstone and also doing a study on Arvida Bystrom controversial image. I think that my view on this subject is that images are now created to be pleased by the viewers and we need things to fit certain ideas, thus causing us to aestheticise everything in the everyday. My current view on how images are made to be aestheticised is that individuals are making images which are to please the viewer but is something which isn’t necessary. Photographers in the field would know that the brief is something which they cannot interoperate in a way they would prefer and that it has strict qualities that the company would be looking for in their photographs.
Not having photographs which are completely opposite of what the client is selling and not showing the feeling for the brand. Even my current work is something which I have made to look aesthetically pleasing by manipulating it to show a cleanliness to the image and to fit today’s standards. Always having in the back of your mind that the brand is more of a modern, functional and considerate about their designs, needing to have to look at the brand as you would want it to connect with how they usually shot their images and making sure you aren’t going out of context for what the company is known for. Even now the aestheticisation of the everyday life, people are caring about how things look more than they should be and not taking care of the real issues which go on around them. We as an individual is picking and choosing to what we show to manipulate what the viewer sees. A quote from Mike Featherstone helps to back this up, “The centrality of commercial manipulated of images through advertising the media and the displays performances and spectacles of the urbanized fabric of daily life therefore entails a constant reworking of desire through images. Hence the consumer society must not be regarded as only releasing a dominant materialism for it also confronts people with dream-images which speak desires, and aestheticise and de-realize reality (Haug, 1987: 123).”A case study which has opposing views of images needing to be aestheticised is of Arvida Bystrom and her image for Adidas, the image had gotten a lot of criticism to it as there was something which had caught the viewers eye immediately.
Her image for Adidas had her with hair on her legs which causing a lot of backlash for the individual who received many threatening responses from individuals just because of the Bystrom wanted to have the leg hairs to be shown in the image. “Me being such an abled, white, cis body with its only non-conforming feature being a little leg hair. Literally I’ve been getting rape threats in my DM inbox. I can’t even begin to imagine what it’s like to not possess all these privileges and try to exist in the world.” This quote is able to show that something which views don’t find right can cause a lot of damage.
We don’t need an image to be always perfect as not all the time it will always be like that. She is trying to be more distinct with her work and being more unique than following what is similar to the works of Adidas and following that trend. The current target market has people aestheticising everything and they would suggest that this image isn’t what consumers are looking for, we as consumers are picking up on these details which are more irrelevant than what the advert is trying to sell. Having the confidence to photograph to this style for an advert shows the power of impact and a stand to the industry that they don’t always need to aestheticise their images.
We are disgusted by this sight but it was just to indicate that woman have these sort of hairs too and thinking that Arvida Bystrom included it to show that we are more focused on making the image aesthetically pleasing than focusing on what the clothes are. Making such a bold statement into the fashion industry with this image show the confidence within the photographer to show that not all our images would need to be aestheticised but you will always get criticism for standing out and being unique to your own work. Not everyone will like your image however you shoot it and what you include, we don’t always get a full 100 percent on our work. Having her hairy legs in the image would be taken upon by others because how we have viewed the brand’s ad, you wouldn’t see the female model with such hairy legs. Making such a bold move into the fashion industry I think that it just shows that we are all hoping that an image would look pleasing to the eye and be wanting things to be smooth and perfect when in reality its something which you have to change yourself to fit those standards and to please a viewer.
During the lecture, they talk about how we see things for the label of the clothes help to show how the individual is. Like the meaning of a Fred Perry shirt, we brand it to certain social classes of people and that would create a category of people who would wear those clothes. We associate the image with certain ideas of heroic quality of Fredrick Perry and the brand identity began. The beginning of the shirt had changed the fashion styling for many people to have these not just seen on the court but also changed from sportswear to streetwear. With the continuation of the identity of the Fred Perry shirt, it changed from being a tennis shirt which a heroic individual wore to it could symbolise a more popular to ‘skinhead’.
It was something which drew in the teenage modernist movement. Many people in Britain would know about the types of people who would be wearing these polo shirts whereas if you were to ask someone else who wasn’t British they would most likely associate the shirt to being a more country club style. Even in my own current work, having branding clothing wasn’t the option which I wanted to go for as it would have created a social class for the individual so having the idea of changing the logo of the Adidas jacket to be removed was a move which changed how you viewed the image and not seeing the individual to the brand. Being able to articulate the views of how people are seeing it and not having to pinpoint a characteristic of the individual. Having this change you will not see the individual as When doing a photo shoot, we think about things which are in trend and keeping it relevant to the viewer. Trying to link it to something which is current is what most people would be doing. Featherstone says:”The aestheticisation of everyday life can refer to the project of turning life into a work of art.
The fascination of this project on the part of artists and intellectuals and would-be artists and intellectuals has a long history.” His book is able to explain more on the aestheticisation of the everyday. Work with I have done to this is what I did last year for HND when I had turned an artwork into life and showed the similarities between the two images.
To conclude, the aestheticisation of the everyday life is something which will still be going on throughout the photography industry. We all are trying to achieve the picture-perfect photographs but by achieving this we would need to do all the manipulation to have your aesthetically pleasing image. We will always be branded and categorised for the certain types of images that we photograph.
Manipulation will always play this big role in the fashion industry