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If Men Were Exploited The Same Way Women Are By The Advertising Industry… (Images)

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In recent years, the world of fashion and advertising has distastefully blurred the lines between right and wrong, creating a pronounced grey area of supposedly acceptable imagery which includes everything from BDSM and rape to abuse, aggression, and underage perversion. And this phenomenon can’t simply be narrowed down to ‘artistry’ when the symbolism is so blatantly sexist and even morbid.

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I mean, is it appropriate for 4-year olds to have a lingerie line, never mind to be photographed in them? I have a 2-year old niece and while I think it’s adorable for her to have cute bathing suits, I would never allow her to wear something provocative in any way. It’s heavily insinuated that Americans are just uptight when it comes to sex, and in many respects this is true, but there is a line that must be drawn when it comes to children that culture cannot influence.

So while Luis Paredes, the publisher of The Lingerie Journal, may blithely assert that “while Americans may be shocked, the line of clothing wouldn’t cause a ripple in Europe,” the reality is that we are looking at the exploitation of children. We may have antiquated views about breastfeeding and sex, to be sure, but sexualized images of children are in a whole different ballpark, and considering the UK’s current heavy investigation into pedophile rings being attended by high government officials, maybe these ads should be causing some ripples.

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Kylie Jenner, an heiress of the Kardashian clan, has received heavy media attention over her recent lip injection (to each their own), but it was this particular photo shoot that brought her under major scrutiny. The cover image for Interview magazine features Kylie in a wheelchair. Why?

Kylie-Jenner

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Shot by Steven Klein, the shoot is supposed to be reminiscent of work produced by Allen Jones, a British pop artist famous for his controversial sculptures of half-naked women on all fours and in other submissive positions being used as human furniture. Quite objectifying. (You can view the full gallery here.)

These next few images highlight the absurdity of advertisements today, switching the sex of the subject (or should I say object) in the ad to underscore how ridiculous and demeaning their roles truly are. Thanks to Lauren Wade from Take Part for creating these images.

Sisley ad, photographed by Terry Richardson, 2006

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This isn’t the first time we’ve seen sexual abuse in advertisements and it definitely isn’t less upsetting when a guy takes her place. The disturbing tone of this ad is hardly surprising considering it was shot by the infamous Terry Richardson, who carries a string of sexual misconduct allegations with models under his belt. I mean the guy himself said, “It’s not who you know, it’s who you blow. I don’t have a hole in my jeans for nothing.”

Tom Ford for Men ad, photographed by Terry Richardson, 2007

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Well we certainly know that sex sells, but why is this appropriate as an advertisement, yet women are still being shunned into bathroom stalls to breastfeed their babies? It’s easy to see how much less appealing this is with men’s breasts instead.

American Apparel ad, 2010

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Wondering what the purpose of this ad is? You’re not alone, since this is a product that is clearly marketed to women. But these images really come as no surprise. American Apparel CEO Dov Charney was unceremoniously dismissed from his position in December of 2014 because of the A.A. board’s “ongoing investigation into alleged misconduct”  — which includes (but is not limited to): holding an employee as a personal sex slave for eight months, sexually harassing multiple models and employees, assaulting a store manager, using ethnic and racist slurs with staff, and masturbating in front of a reporter in a 2004 Jane magazine article.

American Apparel ad, 2007

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If this really is an ad marketed to women, what kind of message is it supposed to send? This image is pretty standard for the company though, considering they once featured then-CEO Dov Charney in bed with models in one ad and having his crotch licked in another. How did it get this far to publication? Even with a male on display it’s pretty disturbing, but at least brings some humour. Interesting that one is sexy and the other comical.

Marc Jacobs ad, photographed by Juergen Teller, 2008

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What do you think this ad is trying to illustrate? Why would a brand use a wrinkled bag to market their products?

These images only provide a glimpse at broad the spectrum of degradation toward women present in advertising and if you think the images itself are enough to make you ponder, imagine what goes on at these shoots or even at the castings.

Charlotte Waters was a 19-year-old art student when she contacted Terry Richardson for a shoot, having only heard he was a good connection to make and work with. “He had me unbutton his pants, and he took his penis out, and it was all completely downhill from there.” She said in an interview with Vocativ. He even went as far as ejaculating on her face. 

Sara Ziff, founder of advocacy group Model Alliance, was also 19 when her agency sent her to Richardson. “It was supposed to be for a mainstream fashion magazine, but when I arrived, he unexpectedly asked me to pose topless,” she says. “I felt pressured to comply because my agent had told me to make a good impression because he was an important photographer who shot for all the major magazines and brands.” On HuffPost Live, Ziff exclaimed, “[Richardson] will ask you to take your clothes off at the casting, and in some cases, give him sexual favors.”

Model Alliance is Sara Ziff’s effort to establish fair labor standards for models working in the American fashion industry. She hopes to protect working models from exploitation, especially from sexual abuse, and to improve the lot of its members in terms of pay and working conditions. It has drawn up a “Models’ Bill of Rights.”

Model Alliance was inspired by Sara’s time working on the documentary Picture Me

Sara had this to say about the documentary in an interview with Fashionista:

[“Picture Me”] was on the festival circuit in 2009, and it was really at Q&A discussions for the film that we started talking about the need for a union, like the equivalent of the Screen Actors’ Guild, which is now SAG-AFTRA, for models. Models would come to these screenings and get really emotional talking about bad experiences they’ve had, and the film became this organizing tool to raise awareness publicly, but also within the industry. We wanted an existing union to extend membership to models, but when it became clear that that wasn’t possible, I was crazy enough to take it upon myself and start up from scratch, which people warned me not to do, but I also was studying labor and organizing in college.

The majority of models start their careers before the age 16, with most working unchaperoned and far from home. This creates an unconscionable environment of coercion, where the incentive to get hired (and remain employed) is enough to keep most girls quiet. Sara Ziff talks about her own experience with this firsthand at the age of 14:

When I entered the business as a 14-year-old schoolgirl, I was routinely asked to do topless shoots and pose seductively. To this day, in an industry dominated by minors, there is no policy of informed consent for jobs involving full or partial nudity. A recent survey shows that 86.8% of models have been asked to pose nude at a casting or job without advance notice.

Girl Model is another documentary exposing the terrifyingly young age at which some models start working. The film follows 13-year-old Siberian-born model Nadya Vall on her quest to become a model, accompanied most of the time by Ashley Arbaugh, the American modeling scout (and former model) who discovers her.

In my opinion, to be successful and thrive in the fashion industry, you need to have a sound idea of who you are as an individual and what you stand for, and unfortunately, most girls who are recruited at 14 or younger are still discovering who they are and what their place is in the world. This makes it easier for agents and scouts to shape them into who they think they should be, almost inevitably promoting a mental instability and dependency on those around them.

This article can only provide for you a different perspective on the reality that certain individuals in the fashion industry must face. Like with all things in life, there are great things about this industry and there are terrible, but it just seems that most of the ‘bad’ has been swept under the rug, with little to no attention being paid to the bigger fallacies presented by advertising companies.

Images like these allow us to see the toxic leaks that are trickling into our society, helping us to be more critical about what we are ingesting visually and more proactive in learning more about a massive money making machine that bombards us with a skewed view of the world from all sides.

Stay critical and stay aware, it helps to shift perspectives and ultimately the industry.

Sources

http://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/cifamerica/2012/feb/13/ugly-truth-fashion-model-behavior

http://www.takepart.com/feature/2014/07/09/what-if-fashion-objectified-males-same-scary-way-it-does-females

http://www.vocativ.com/underworld/sex/oh-god-whats-happening-close-personal-terry-richardson-model/

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2014/07/17/fashion-ads-treated-men-and-women-same_n_5589243.html

http://www.theguardian.com/fashion/2012/feb/01/sara-ziff-models-workers-rights-group

http://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/cifamerica/2012/feb/13/ugly-truth-fashion-model-behavior

http://nymag.com/thecut/2014/06/terry-richardson-interview.html

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UAF 9/11 Study Concludes “Fires in WTC Could Not Have Caused” Building 7 To Collapse

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In Brief

  • The Facts:

    The final report of an extensive four-year computer modeling simulation that was followed by a robust peer review process concludes that WTC 7 could not have collapsed as a result of office fires, as the official NIST explanation claims.

  • Reflect On:

    Does it seem like full disclosure in many areas, including 9/11 truth, are being held back in order to burst into public awareness simultaneously?

The Architects and Engineers for 9/11 Truth announced on March 25th that the final report from researchers at the University of Alaska Fairbanks on the destruction of the 47-story World Trade Center Building 7 in New York City late in the afternoon of September 11, 2001 has been completed. And as expected, it debunks the official story:

The UAF team’s findings, which were the result of a four-year computer modeling study of the tower’s collapse, contradict those of the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST), which concluded in a 2008 report that WTC 7 was the first tall building ever to collapse primarily due to fire.

“Our study found that the fires in WTC 7 could not have caused the observed collapse,” said Professor Leroy Hulsey, the study’s principal investigator. “The only way it could have fallen in the observed manner is by the near-simultaneous failure of every column.”

The final report, entitled A Structural Reevaluation of the Collapse of World Trade Center 7 – Final Report, includes clarifications and supplemental text based on public comments submitted in response to a draft report released by UAF and AE911Truth on September 3, 2019.

The UAF team’s final report is the result of an extensive four-year computer modeling effort that was followed by a robust peer review process. The peer review included dozens of public comments as well as external review by two independent experts, Dr. Gregory Szuladzinski of Analytical Service Company, a leading expert in structural mechanics and finite element modeling, and Dr. Robert Korol, a professor emeritus of civil engineering at McMaster University and a fellow of the Canadian Society for Civil Engineering.

What’s Next?

Richard Gage, president and founder of AE911Truth, said that “It is now incumbent upon the building community, the media, and government officials to reckon with the implications of these findings and launch a new full-scale investigation.”

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Of course, asking for a new full-scale investigation has always been the mandate for AE911Truth. One would suspect that if an investigation has not been launched by now, when a majority of the public believe something is being hidden from them about 9/11, no amount of proof about the falsity of the official statement will be able to get the ball rolling.

Still, the work that continues to be done by AE911Truth and its allies among the 9/11 victims’ families keeps this issue in the spotlight, and reminds us that important facts about 9/11 have yet to be revealed, facts that question the very nature and motivations of our government and other powerful institutions. The 9/11 activists will now use the findings in the report as part of a formal “request for correction” that the group plans to submit to NIST in the coming days. Richard Gage noted,

“The indisputable errors documented in our request for correction will give NIST no way out of correcting its deeply flawed report and reversing its conclusion that fires were the cause of the collapse.”

An admission by NIST that their conclusions about the reasons for the WTC 7 collapse is tantamount to an admission that explosives had been pre-planted in this building for this event, so we shouldn’t hold our breath. It would bring down the entire house of cards that is the official 9/11 narrative.

As I mentioned in a previous article ‘The Implosion Of Building 7 Remains The Irrefutable “Smoking Gun” Of A 9/11 Inside Job,’ the presumption of a controlled demolition would dictate that WTC Building 7 must have been slated to be hit by a plane like the other 2 towers, as part of the master plan of the perpetrators. When that was part of the plan was botched, they decided to ‘pull it,’ in the recorded words of the building’s owner Larry Silverstein. The lame “offices fires” explanation, something that had never happened before in the world to a high-rise building, was the only one that was left for them to use.

The Takeaway

Truth is coming, about 9/11, about JFK, about hidden technology, ETs and about a hundred other things. It seems to me that full disclosures of all of these have been held up, or are creeping along very slowly, as if they were being loaded into a cannon for one huge explosion of truth that is set to have a profound impact on our collective consciousness. Rather than being impatient for one particular disclosure or another, I believe it’s best to try to see a pattern that relates to the readiness of the collective mind, and do our part to prepare ourselves.

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Standing Rock Sioux Tribe Wins Key Court Case In Dakota Access Pipeline Resistance

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In Brief

  • The Facts:

    A key victory came yesterday for the Standing Rock Sioux Tribe as a Washington DC court ruled the Army Corps of Engineers must perform an Environmental Impact Statement to show the Dakota Access pipeline will not negatively affect the tribe's land.

  • Reflect On:

    Are we seeing further shifts in the old paradigm of money first and environment second? Are we seeing the power of relentlessly standing up for what you feel will make humanity and nature thrive?

This is a huge victory for the Standing Rock Sioux Tribe of North Dakota. Their relentless energy towards having a full environmental impact statement (EIS) done with regards to the Dakota Access Pipeline that would run through their land and potentially impact their water supply, has finally paid off. This will bring the future of the Dakota Access pipeline into question entirely.

A Washington DC court ruled that the US army corps of engineers must conduct a full EIS given that their existing permits violated the National Environmental Policy Act (Nepa).

“After years of commitment to defending our water and earth, we welcome this news of a significant legal win,” said the tribal chairman, Mike Faith. “It’s humbling to see how actions we took to defend our ancestral homeland continue to inspire national conversations about how our choices ultimately affect this planet.”

You may recall from 2016, the Sioux Tribe rallied and inspired millions all over the world to help in getting behind the movement to raise awareness about the environmental impact of this pipeline. People travelled from all over the world to join the tribe on the ‘front lines’ as clashes sometimes became violent between water protectors and police, as well as pipeline workers.

I recall being down in North Dakota covering this story and was amazed by the sheer amount of people coming to support, as well as the efforts police were taking to silence journalists from covering the story. Cell phone jammers were used to stop those on-site from live streaming what was going on. Independent media were the only form of media in Standing Rock for months until eventually, mainstream media showed up. There appeared to be a long-standing solidarity within mainstream media to portray water protectors as violent and to avoid telling their side of the story when it came to the pipeline. This was why independent media was so important at that time.

In December 2016, the Obama administration denied permits for the pipeline to cross the Missouri River and effectively ordered a full EIS to be done in order to determine what alternative routes could be taken as well as what impact the pipeline may have on the tribe’s treaty rights. Yet, during the first week of Donald Trump’s presidency, he signed an executive order to expedite construction of the pipeline. Construction of the 1,200-mile pipeline was completed in June 2017.

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Not long after, the tribe challenged the permits and won. The Army corps of engineers were ordered to redo its environmental analysis, but they did so without taking into consideration tribal concerns or expert analysis. This was likely to allow it’s the transport of oil to continue until they were again sued.

Finally, as this Wednesday, federal judge James Boasberg determined that the environmental analysis by both the companies behind the pipeline and the corps was severely lacking, and the track record of Sunoco when it comes to oil spills is not promising, and “does not inspire confidence”, he added.

The fresh court-mandated EIS will be more in-depth than the assessment already completed by the corps – and could take years to complete. Next, the court will decide if the pipeline will be shut down while the EIS is being completed and until the EIS is approved.

“This validates everything the tribe has been saying all along about the risk of oil spills to the people of Standing Rock,” said Jan Hasselman, an EarthJustice attorney.

The Takeaway

The news of this Standing Rock victory may fall on distracted ears and minds at the moment considering the current global focus on the Coronavirus pandemic, but this is a big victory that shows the power of collective action and moving to stand up to actions of those who do not make the entirety of human ‘thrivability’ a part of their paradigm, but who instead operate from a space of disconnection and capitalization.

This news comes as I recently released my latest film Regenerate to everyone for free. The film re-examines our current mainstream approach to climate change and instead looks at our relationship to land, life, nature, money and each other as a whole. I propose that it is here where we will find the solutions we are looking for to truly allow our environment and each other, to thrive. You can check out the trailer below, and watch the full film here.

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How We Can Regenerate Our Environment & Planet (Documentary)

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20452664 - Image: 123RF

In Brief

  • The Facts:

    New documentary called Regenerate: Beyond The C02 Narrative explores how we can truly regenerate our environment. The current mainstream focus on C02 is not the answer.

  • Reflect On:

    Are we viewing the earth as a mechanical machine? Are we living in a society built on disconnection? Do we value maintaining the status quo more than creating a thriving life for all?

I have a new film I want to share with you, one that I was very passionate about creating because I believe it has the power to truly change the way we think about our environment.

I’ve been researching the topic of climate change for over 10 years, and the one thing I can honestly tell you, no matter what political side you are on or what you think the science says: the topic is very dizzying. No, it’s not as simple as the oil companies are faking science to show dangers to our climate are not as bad. No, it’s not as simple as lowering CO2 emissions, in fact, that is an incredibly misleading narrative. What we have to do is much different than that.

One thing I will say is this, many of the current propositions we see from governments, companies and mainstream media are designed to work within our economy. Economy first, environment second. They are also designed not to have humanity question their relationship with things like nature, money, life, who we are and why we are even here. They are designed to maintain the status quo. For that reason, they are often linear, mechanical ideas that disregard the true nature of the earth and the environment.

Those who have really gone deeply into the subject of climate change see this very quickly: you cannot simply solve our climate woes by planting more trees or lowering CO2 emissions, as you are just looking at one TINY aspect to the puzzle, and this direction won’t actually help the planet, it will only make us think we are helping.

Coming to these realizations over the last 10 years is what inspired me to create a film that would unite people. It’s a film that doesn’t argue about who’s to blame, what the causes of climate change are and so forth, it’s instead a film that looks at the core of the issue, and how we can actually create the changes that are needed at this time.

In short, the biggest challenge we face right now is that we live in a mindset and paradigm of disconnection and linear, mechanical thinking. This has led to the creation of a world that takes only individual parts into consideration, and not the whole. This thinking provides the experience of what it looks like to create from disconnected and destructive points of view. Sifting out of this thinking and state of being, into one of connection, is the challenge before us. When we do this, it will begin to reshape policy, choices, actions and creations that influence our world, way of living and how we relate to the earth.

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Due to the Coronavirus lockdown everyone is experiencing right now at home, I’ve decided to make the film Regenerate: Beyond The CO2 Narrative, free for everyone to watch.

Below is a trailer to check out the film. If you wish to watch this film entirely, click here.

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