Miley Cyrus has promised that she can't stop and won't stop making us cluck our tongues at her antics, but this time around, she's not even to blame. Rather, it's whoever dreamed up the ridiculous new advertising campaign for Marc Jacobs, in which a sullen-looking Miley poses with two female models -- one of whom most definitely is supposed to be a beautiful ... corpse. It's supposed to be "kind of sulky and broody," says the designer. This right on the heels of the cover of Entertainment Weekly, which features Ben Affleck snuggled up to another "dead" beauty to promote Gone Girl. Yep, turns out, female corpses are now a fashion trend. Ugh.
Okay, it's not exactly something NEW. As The Guardian points out, "Over the years female corpses, especially beautiful female corpses, have become a staple of fashion shoots, advertising campaigns, and TV shows -- with sexual and fatal violence against women a favorite of TV programs looking to boost a waning audience or build a new one."
But maybe the fact that it IS such a stale gimmick is exactly the problematic point! Why are we fascinated with models playing dead? How is that sexy or empowering or attractive? Well, apparently, it has something to do with the fact that our culture sees the sexualized stereotype of a woman as passive and vulnerable, so advertisers -- in an attempt to shock and awe us -- just take that idea to its most extreme conclusion: Sexy = dead girl.
We should ALL have a problem with this "trend." Not only is it tacky and cringe-worthy to use something so morbid to appear chic and fashion-forward, but it's pretty much an unapologetic attempt to subvert women, especially those who ARE sexy, chic, fashion-forward, etc. And I don't know about you, but as a woman, I'd be much more inclined to buy something modeled by a beautiful, empowered, alive woman than one who's playing dead.
How do you feel about this worrying "trend"?
Image via David Sims/Marc Jacobs