Monday, July 13, 2009

♥ i can paint your eye and say that is where i lived for 20 minutes + more.

Anouk Aimee

i've been doing it for years.

ever since i was a little girl,
i have unknowingly and unconsciously
inserted myself into the high heels
of all the most glamorous heroines
from my favorite story lines.

whether it is one of the characters on jem,
one of the spice girls,
or one of the sex and the city ladies:
i am pretty sure that we have all had
one of those
"i am that girl!" moments,
where we identify with and project our ego onto
someone more perfect, capable and beautiful than we are.

we let a bit of star dust cling to our feet,
feel a tinge of inspiration or a sudden spark of confidence,
and imagine ourselves bigger than our bodies give us credit for.
(as john mayer so aptly puts it.)

this is exactly how i felt last night
after watching the cat.eyed french actress, anouk aimée,
sashay across the silver screen as
the untouchable beauty, lola (1961)
{note to self: buy a top hat asap!}

Anouk Aimee

and the devoted wife to tortured artist/director
in federico fellini's 8 1/2 (1963)

Anouk Aimee
anouk aimée images found here

because anouk's simple yet effective makeup caught my eye,
the first thing i needed to find was the perfect cat eye tutorial
and to try it out...

and to find more examples of the classic look i was going for, like
these vintage glamour gals:

images via ffffound!

and modern, edgier versions of the feline eye,
such as emma watson's august 2009 cover of uk elle.

and musical versions of this catty look,
which include newly formed girl band,
{thanks to stuart murdoch of belle.and.sebastian}

as well as modern versions of classic films,
which has more cat.eyed characters
than you can blink an eye at.

and this all would have been well and good
had i not remembered a little something i read in college:

laura mulvey's article, "visual pleasure and narrative cinema,"
which totally spells out why it is that i feel
so much prettier after i watch a film with a gorgeous cast,
and why this is not exactly a good thing.

here's the reader's digest version in case you're interested:

basically, films are one of the various mediums where we see our socially established
male/female relationships shaped and played out in front of us.
running below the surface of it all is the ever dominating patriarchal viewpoint
that centers around those with the phallus (i.e penis/power): men
and those who symbolize the lack of one: women.

thus, it is the male protagonist through whose eyes we watch the movies,
the male protagonist whose quest and actions move the plot forward
and whose voice and thoughts we hear echoing in the dark theater.

the female character, on the other hand,
stands for nothing more than an uncomfortable reminder
of the lack of phallus (or threat of castration),
and must be defeated and demystified
or more commonly,
turned into an object of visual pleasure,
cut up into a mish mosh of body parts and batting eyelashes
so that they are seen only as a fetish and not a threat.

so, ok, maybe i do love the cat.eye look
that anouk sports in lola (1961) and 8 1/2 (1963)
but i do agree that it is important
to question why we think the way we do,
why in this culture we value being looked at
and to understand that sometimes
there is more to the images of female beauty
that we are given
than meets the eye.

3 ♥ love notes.:

  1. LOVE the emma watson look and cat eye on her. You look fab with cat eye makeup too!

  2. you're so nice!! i appreciate all of your comments so much :)

  3. I'm jealous of your cat eyes, meow!


♥ tell me how you really feel!