Much has been written about a recent unfortunate New York Times Magazine cover story. My favorite is an article on Salon.com by Rebecca Traister. After forcing myself to read the aforementioned NYT article that shall go unnamed, I just feel incredibly queasy. In all fairness, I thought I should read it before criticizing it, but I don't want to waste any more time even thinking about it when my copy of the new revised and expanded edition of That's Revolting! Queer Strategies for Resisting Assimilation is sitting right here in front of me begging to be read.
I just can't believe how bad that article was and I am mortally offended that the NYT saw fit to grant her ten full pages to spew that nonsense. Oh, and to make matters queasier, she actually studied at Eugene Lang College, an institution that I am proud to have recently graduated from with a concentration in Creative Nonfiction and a minor in Poetry. I don't know who she studied with, but I assure you that none of that would have flown with my senior work advisor, Pulitzer prize-winning critic, journalist, author and personal hero of mine, Margo Jefferson.
I will say this though, before I return to cleansing myself with radical queerness: When I took these pictures of myself, I meant them as an illustration of my greatest fears and a critique of the options/representations of women in media and the arts. Looking pretty and destroyed passed out on rumpled sheets, an unused camera lifeless around my neck, I called them my "photowhore" pictures. I don't think anyone got it.
With young women posing for pictures like this, is it any wonder that my critique didn't register?
photo of Emily Gould by Elinor Carucci
E.T.A: I would like to start a conversation that situates such self-involved tripe as Gould's within the sphere of normative whiteness. While critiques have been multiple and various, I have yet to see one that explores this. It is a definitive aspect of white privilege to be able to make work that is essentially about nothing other than the small petty exploits of one person.