January 29, 2012

Androgynous Femme art observations: John Stezaker's split faces

Oh hey there gender blenders,

This weekend I went to the opening of the John Stezaker exhibit at the Mildred Lane Kemper Art Museum at Washington University, and guess what I found? Some amazing examples of androgynous art!

Marriage (Film Portrait Collage) LXI, 2010
Marriage (Film Portrait Collage) XLIII, 2007 
But the most interesting discovery I made was in the comparison between the photograph collages that were split male/female faces and those that were split male/male or female/female faces--it was not the gender difference, but the face difference, that made these images startling. That is, all three gender combinations were equally eerie because they were made up of two different faces.

He (Film Portrait Collage) III, 2008
She (Film Portrait Collage) V, 2007
I wonder if this observation would hold true for split body collages as well. The exhibit did include some of these; however, they were only split male/female combinations. Somehow, these did not seem as startling as the faces.

January 24, 2012

Not enough vests, too many pretty girls / sex kittens / mothers

Oh hi there gender blenders,

You know what? I've been having vest drama. I'll be out on the town and some dude will walk by looking all dapper in a snaz-tastic vest. Something terrible comes over me, and I eye that vest like it has spurned me.

"Why, you beautiful thing, would you choose him over me?" 

Surely I can just ask him where he got it?


These dudes are habitually rail-like, tall maybe, but all bones. 

And I have lady shit going on.

When dressing like "your boyfriend" is in, why is it that said boyish clothes are not made in sizes that would fit those of us on the curvaceous side? So-called plus-sized clothing merchants seem to go in three directions--ultra-feminine, pin-up, or matronly. The full-figured female body then has three options:
  • The pretty girl
  • The sex kitten
  • The mother
This sounds a lot like the maiden/whore/mother trifecta without much exaggeration on my part. That's all well and good if your peg happens to fit nicely into one of those holes--mine doesn't. (Is your mind in the gutter now? Mine too. With the sex kitten. Jealous? You should be.) I'm not saying I don't wear clothes that fall into the pretty girl and pin-up categories because I do; however, there is always this feeling that I'm all "done up," that I am somehow putting on a show. I am exaggerating something I'm not sure is really mine. But that doesn't sound quite right either.

Maybe it is only a little bit of me, and so the other parts of me see it all as a big farce. And in many ways it is. Gender expression can't be one true thing, or even three.