Images of poverty are often used by artists or creators specifically to sell consumer products. Because these images often glamorize and appropriate poverty, these aesthetics become trendy and fashionable, and a market is created for products that exemplify poverty and homelessness. This incentivizes those with power to keep Whether it is art, clothing, or a brand, creators ironically are able to make money off of something that lacks money or resources by its nature.
Fashion blogs serve many different purposes. They may be inspiration for people looking to wear their clothes in different ways, or they can point consumers toward certain brands or companies to buy from. Regardless of the blog format, there is usually something being sold, because bloggers mostly make their money from advertisements, or sponsorships by the brands they showcase. In these images, models and bloggers are selling their image while posing in front of destroyed backgrounds. By posing in front of destructed or grimy backgrounds, bloggers and the brands they advertise profit off spaces that have been neglected of profit themselves.
Contrasting high with low, these fashion blog pictures make the clothes featured in them seem more expensive, and the backgrounds even more decayed. The all-white models have clear power over the space even though they don't own it, because they have made it their own by becoming a main subject and selling point.
This image comes from the fashion blog Man Repeller, which, as its name suggests, advocates looking good for reasons outside the heterosexual norm. According to their website, “Our founding tenet is the belief that style is a meaningful form of self-expression. And the most empowering thing you can share is your point of view.” This blog resists ideas about dressing to please a male partner, and instead emphasizes the inherent sexuality we can all find in ourselves alone. Because of this, many of the outfits and style choices featured on their blog resist traditional ideas of what is beautiful in street fashion. In this image, the "repelling" part of the picture may partly come from the backdrop to the main subject, which features two brightly colored dumpsters. Turning garbage into the selling point, the image contrasts high and low and asks the question: does appropriating destroyed spaces sell clothing?
Emily Peterson '19