Monthly Archives: February 2014

Wednesday February 12th

Wednesday February 12th

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The image I choose is from 1953 and was done by artist Xin Liliang. The image represents female peasant workers in a rice field. The main girl is well dressed and looks happy to be working. The other women are also well dressed and look blissfully content working. The girl appears to have a clean image and indicates that she takes care of herself. The landscape of the image is portrayed as vibrant by using bright colors. The water looks incredibly blue and the rice seems to be thriving. A city is somewhat visible in the back right corner but the picture almost indicates that city life is out of reach for these women and their lives in the field trump the city.

 

The clothing choices for the women are highly unrealistic with the actual clothing peasant women would have worn in the fields. These women would have worn old, tattered clothing not fresh jeans or a nice white apron. The women are depicted as being incredibly healthy and that their work is enjoyable which indicates the party’s message that these women enjoyed contributing to society in any capacity. Every women seems to be working diligently which again indicates that all these women believed their jobs were important.  As noted earlier, the bright colors used for the landscape are aesthetically appealing and attracts a viewer to the image. The colors send the message that life in these rice fields is thriving.

 

The artist gives a great depiction of “life” in the rice fields for female peasant workers. By that, I mean that she makes this work look appealing to  a broader audience and helps to support the notion that women are contributing to society. Sadly, this idealized image does not match up with the reality of most women who worked in rice fields.

 

Image contributed by: Xin Liliang for Chineseposters.net

Friday 2/7

Friday 2/7

Over the beginning weeks of this semester, I have become very interested in the image of Chinese women after reading my initial article about the modeling industry. I was struck in that article by the harsh conditions that Chinese models endured such as poor living and working conditions. Women are placed at the helm of a “handler” who can decide every part of their day to day life. Also, these women have no control over their living conditions and are often subjected to rape by male models.  I have begun to become interested in Chinese women in the modeling industry but more so in the larger Chinese culture.

Following that theme, I found a blog that lists the “10 Best” Chinese women. The majority of these women are in their twenties and are models, actresses, singers. The beginning of the article notes that the most beautiful Chinese women have smooth porcelain skin, single eye lid folds and are skinny. These qualifications leave a very narrow standard for women to be deemed as pretty. After looking through the list, many of these women appear as young girls not women. What I am most struck by is the poses in the pictures. I am currently taking a class titled Perspectives about Sexuality and we recently discussed how certain magazine poses geared for women help to portray women in a certain light. Many times these women are placed in poses that make them look helpless, frail yet beautiful. The majority of the women located on this top 10 list are in poses such as these. One of the comments even notes how she looks beautiful and frail. I find this extremely fascinating how the western definition of beauty and poses has infiltrated China where an entire generation of girls are being placed in this same narrowly defined category in society.