Magazine explains controversial fashion shoot, says photos aren’t intended to glamorize violence Read more

A magazine layout from the Bulgarian fashion magazine "12" titled “Victim of Beauty.”

VASIL GERMANOV/12 MAGAZINE

Critics of 12 Magazine’s controversial spread say the graphic photographs glamorize domestic abuse.

TAKEOUR POLL
Do you think 12 Magazine’s photographs glamorize domestic violence?
Yes! They’re troubling and inappropriate.
No. The spread shows off special effects.
I’m not sure.

A Bulgarian fashion magazine refuses to apologize after a recent spread featuring models who appear bloodied, bruised and slashed sparked controversy.

Editors say the controversial photographs, published June 6 in 12 Magazine, show off the juxtaposition of beauty and movie makeup ideal for a horror flick, but they aren’t intended to glamorize domestic violence.

“This shoot was left without an introductory text, thus allowing everybody to translate it the way they want,” editor-in-chief Huben Hubenov told the Daily News in an email. “A lot of people read ‘domestic violence’ in those pictures, but it is their mind who came up with that explanation of the shoot, not ours.

“And if they took the time to actually examine the photographs, instead of superficially jumping to [conclusions], they would’ve seen girls who look at us strongly, who look confident, who are above the wounds, above everything. They are independent.”

VICTIM20N_6_WEB

VASIL GERMANOV/12 MAGAZINE

SFX Makeup by Daniela Avramova, Beauty makeup Slav for Max Factor.

VICTIM20N_5_WEB

VASIL GERMANOV/12 MAGAZINE

SFX Makeup by Daniela Avramova, Beauty makeup Slav for Max Factor.

But when the spread, entitled “Victim of Beauty” and shot by photographer Vasil Germanov, made its way around the Internet last week, critics condemned the graphic photos as a disturbing attempt to beautify abuse.

“Violence against women exists way too frequently in real life for us to want to look at it in a fashion magazine,” blogger Cheryl Wischhover wrote on Fashionista.

On the blog Fem2.0, Emilie Surrusco wrote “A Survivor’s Reaction to 12 Magazine’s ‘Victim of Beauty’ Photographs,” her take on the spread as a woman who has suffered abuse.

“[My] response goes something like this: It starts with what can only be compared to being kicked in the stomach, then sweat rolls down my back, my throat begins to close, my mind races and I go back to the girl who was trapped,” wrote Surrusco, communications director for Alaska Wilderness in Washington, D.C.

VICTIM20N_2_WEB

VASIL GERMANOV/12 MAGAZINE

SFX Makeup by Daniela Avramova, Beauty makeup Slav for Max Factor.

VICTIM20N_3_WEB

VASIL GERMANOV/12 MAGAZINE

SFX Makeup by Daniela Avramova, Beauty makeup Slav for Max Factor.

On the flip side, Hubenov said that while the magazine was expecting some backlash — “like in a ‘blood-is-gross-and-makes-me-faint’ way,” they don’t see the domestic violence link.

“As they say, ‘fear is in the eye of the beholder,’” Hubenov said. “We are quite frankly scared of how many people translate ‘domestic violence’ by looking at women with wounds. But it is a problem of the society they live, not the fashion photography we make.”

Not all of the feedback was negative, however. Some readers commended the shoot as beautiful and “thought-provoking,” or applauded the makeup artist, Daniela Avramova, for a “job well done.”

“This is beautiful,” wrote one commenter on the magazine’s website. “And this is the kind of photography that I would be excited to work with, it is creative and strange and certainly would not cause violence or make women more likely to accept it.”

VICTIM20N_4_WEB

VASIL GERMANOV/12 MAGAZINE

SFX Makeup by Daniela Avramova, Beauty makeup Slav for Max Factor.

Other commenters slammed the idea that the photos suggest domestic abuse.

“Why do you automatically jump to domestic violence?” wrote one reader on Fashionista. “Why assume women can’t get injured on their own? I think it’s a really interesting shoot, the contrast of what can be done with makeup is pretty amazing, it’s like two worlds of special effects colliding.”

Hubenov notes that “most of the negative response came from overseas … we guess us Europeans experience things like those rather differently.”

As for the title, which includes the word “victim,” Hubenov says, “It’s just a title, people have to get over it already. The photographs are more important, because titles can [be] forgotten, but a good image can be immortal.”

One thought on “Magazine explains controversial fashion shoot, says photos aren’t intended to glamorize violence Read more

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s