Thursday, December 20, 2007

Girl Powah

Artists Tiffany Ludwig and Renee Piechocki, who collaborate under the name "Two Girls Working" have been interviewing women about clothes, make-up, self esteem, and power in order to create art installations, an online multimedia archive, and a new book called "Trappings: Stories of Women, Power and Clothing."

Many a New Year's Eve ago, I had an intense conversation with a friend of a friend. He despised make-up, declaring women only used it out of a lack of self esteem. I was convinced of quite the opposite and tried to reveal to him my deep connection with cosmetics. Especially in the US, cosmetics are so deeply ingrained in a woman's culture and considered a territory outside a man's culture that he found the concept difficult to digest. I tried to explain how, when I'm looking in the mirror, applying eyeliner or mascara, I oftentimes imagine I feel an invisible connection with the thousands of millions of women before me who have done the same thing. Just imagine, Cleopatra, Marie Antoinette, Alice Paul, Josephine Baker, and Lady Diana all applied their make-up with the same minute strokes, the same half-opened lips, the same deadly concentration and somehow each of us is connected to the others in an infinite femininity that is a little bit ritual, a little bit sacred and a little bit fun.

Read for yourself how women speak about their emotional connections with a little black dress and pearls or THAT pair of perfect red shoes in the Seattle Times article “Two women explore "Trappings" of power clothes”.

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