Thursday, November 20, 2008

Warning, contains nudity and possibly feminism.

Check out this "about" statement from clothing company "Two in the Shirt" [emphasis mine]:

Two In The Shirt is a fresh new company with a focus on bringing tastefully provocative clothing to the forefront of fashion. The name 'Two In the Shirt' is derived from the acronym T.I.T.S., which is quite fitting considering the nature of the clothing itself.
T.I.T.S. merchandise consists of men's and women's apparel printed with original designs. Each design showcases classy prints of nude or nearly nude women. "Like a training bra, support T.I.T.S."

I'm intrigued by the contrast between the rhetoric of this statement ("tastefully," "classy") and the visual rhetoric of the website (I'm not linking it here, but you can find it if you want to. Some images on the blog are VERY explicit). In the "lifestyle" slideshow, all the clothes (most with provocative images of women on them) are modeled by men in dominant, powerful postures. Images of women in the blog are hyper-sexualized and, often, faceless. If you head over there, I recommend checking out the "Wifey" and "American Flavors" collections.

There is a long tradition of depicting the human body, especially the female body, in fine arts, and that's part of what T.I.T.S. is trying to evoke with their language here. Compare one of their products with a more recognized "artistic" nude, Manet's "Dejeuner sur L'herbe," which caused great controversy when it was first exhibited:

I'm going to hold back a bit and see what you all think about these. What similarities/differences do you see in these two approaches to the female body and the power relationship between women and [actual or implied] men? Is there something artistic about what this company does?


Me said...

I guess this means I'm going to have to return Dad's Christmas present or risk your wrath. Darn it kid, you know how hard he is to buy for...

Michael5000 said...

Nothing says "tasteful" and "classy" like naming your company "T.I.T.S."

DocHoc said...

RT, I'm running out the door and don't have time to comment in depth; however, I needed to say that I checked out "T.I.T.S." site and am disgusted.

"Tastful" and "Classy"?! Oh boy, now Eric's going to hear my feminist rant all the way to the store...HAHAHA.

I'll comment more soon. I need to think over this awhile.

Anonymous said...

Hi there I was just looking through blogs and I found yours interesting ! :)

I have an art blog here in San Diego and would like it if you became friendly here with us.

So take care and hope to see you soon... :)

DocHoc said...

Another quick update on my thoughts: even completely keeping all feminist notions out, it's the RHETORIC I have a problem with on that dang blog!