Saturday, February 16, 2013

The Doll Fetish Industry

I was buying a new razor today (Gillette Fusion 5 Blade Shaving Surface---should take care of the razor burn) when I saw, at the cash register, the latest edition of Glamour, featuring this cover,

and I thought, "Holy crap, is that Dakota Fanning? The little squirt who bugged the hell out of America in War of the Worlds?"

And it is her, or at least it's a photograph that slightly resembles her; in reality, I'm not sure I've ever seen a more perfect distillation of the modeling industry's ability to de-humanize the women who model for it.

I guess the correct term here is that Fanning is a victim of "objectification." In truth, that word used so cavalierly these days that it's often applied vaguely and nonsensically. It doesn't really encapsulate what I'm getting at; Dakota Fanning looks like a literal object in this photo---not the Women's Studies 201 abstraction of an "object," but a genuine thing. Yet what kind of object? After staring at the photograph in queasy horror for about twenty seconds while waiting in line, I realized that she resembles, quite strikingly, the demonic psycho porcelain doll from, hands-down, one of the scariest episodes of Are You Afraid of the Dark:

A six-foot-tall doll! You can't get more object-y than that. And seriously, holy shit. I'm a grown man and that doll still gives me the heebie-jeebies. Somehow, the fashion machine took sweet little Dakota Fanning and made her into a doll that wants to consume your soul. Look, we're all screwed. I know I complain about our authoritarian government overlords a lot, but even if they all disappeared tomorrow, modern American culture will surely finish the job. Tell your loved ones you love them, and do it every day. 

No comments:

Post a Comment