Now although the concept of anyone smoking (let alone a model) is nowhere near shocking or controversial, or even a new concept in fashion photography, it got me thinking - this picture would never have ran in say, British or American VOGUE.
Now we all know that political correctness (in Britain in particular) has gone mad in recent years, but why should a picture in a fashion magazine, of someone smoking stop me dead in my tracks? Perhaps it was because it was in a beauty editorial? Safe to say there is nothing "beautiful" about smoking. Some may find it sexy, or poetic even, but take away the make-up, the lighting, and the airbrushing and get up close to the discoloured teeth, yellow nails and coarse, blemished skin and you will see that you will certainly not end up looking like Daria Werbowy by lighting up a cigarette.
Of course there is the whole ordeal of "Young girls will look at this and think it's beautiful, this model and many other like her are role models to young women all over the world and it's images like this that subconsciously encourage them to smoke". But that's not what bothered me. Women in the public eye aren't forcing young girls to do anything and the prospect of people in the public eye having their careers endangered because of what they do in their personal lives has always somewhat infuriated me. What did bother me however, was the level of censorship we have succumbed to in this day and age. Critics are always attacking the fashion industry for not portraying "realistic" images of women. Well, above, there is one. A thin, tall, beautiful, independent woman - smoking, just like many other women all over the world. It seems that critics want to see "real" people... just so long as it isn't too real.
People smoke. People drink too much. People take drugs and have sex. It is not my aim to condone this behaviour but I'm certainly in no position to judge or scorn other people for living their lives. nor is it my intention to desensitise the world to these goings on. But I can't help but think, with a little exposure to these things and a little more education, maybe the children and adolescents of today would be wiser and more knowledgeable, less ignorant and more tolerant. Shedding light on things like smoking could enrich and empower young people's lives. For knowledge is power!
And that's my rant for today. For those of you who are interested, here's the rest of Daria's beauty editorial, although the smoking image may have overshadowed the success of the editorial as a whole, it is nonetheless, beautifully shot by Ben Hassett and styled by Julia von Boehm.
On a another note, a friend of my mine brought my attention to this McDonald's commercial today, that is currently being aired in (where else?) - France -
This come just short of 2 years after the UK received a sea of complaints and eventually banned this Heinz commercial -
It actually just angers and frustrates me to no end. It's the 21st Century, the year 2010, and that gets thousands of complaints and gets banned?
What makes our children so different to French children? Why are the French so much more liberal and tolerant?
I'm considering moving to Paris where I may just be allowed to live a life without worry or concern that I may be judged or censored.
Vive la France!