Posts Tagged ‘photography’
My sister Beatriz is one of the most gorgeous women I know. She’s breathtakingly beautiful with glowing sun kissed skin and a joyous full of life way about her. When we are together, we laugh and laugh in a secret way that only sisters can. When I was browsing through her pictures on Facebook, I noticed one in particular that caught my eye.
The image below, taken by her photographer friend, Brenda Bravo, strikes a similar resemblance to one of my favorite photographs of all time, “American Girl in Italy” by Ruth Orkin.
Ruth Orkin was a rebel rousing independent woman who traveled the world and captured the essence of what it was like to be a woman in 1951. Her most famous photograph, “American Girl in Italy” demonstrates a very simple, and very real relationship between a woman walking down a street and the men who look at her.
The status of women in the 1950′s was certainly different than what it is today. It had been just about six years after WWII when Orkin snapped her picture. Women in America were straddling the thin line of leaving their Rosie the Rivetor jobs and becoming a typical 1950′s housewife, just as young high school girls were being taught “How to be Good Wife” in home economics. I can only imagine what it must have been like for women in Italy, with a country still building itself from the ruins of war.
What Orkin portrays with “American Girl in Italy” is a scurrying young woman clutching her chest, with a pained look on her face as she tries to get past the long line of cat calling leering men.
Fast forward 59 years later, and we can see a similar image captured by Bravo. Yet, something is different. My sister walks with confidence, aware of the looks, incredulous to the stares, head held high, arms at ease, gliding with her step. She confronts the tension in the air with her own power and radiant feminine sexuality. She knows where she is going and she makes her way without regard as to what anyone may think, do or say.
As a photographer myself, I love seeing one of my favorite pictures captured so candidly in present day. 2 kudos to Brenda Bravo!
I smile wondering what Orkin (1921 – 1985) would say of this comparison… if only she could see what I see…
I saw this picture and was very moved.
The ability to obtain an education is taken for granted in the United States. I would implore all of my readers/listeners to really take a good look at this picture. Realize that bombs are not going off here in the U.S. and get yourself on a plan. If you don’t have a car, get on the bus, if you don’t have money for the bus, walk, ride a bike, do whatever it is that you need to do to get yourself an education. Some people aren’t as fortunate to live in a system that offers so much financial aid and resources. All you need to do is seek them out. So get off your ass and do the damn thang.
“The future belongs to those that prepare for it today.” – Malcolm X
From the site:
Things He Carried: Dutch photojournalist Oerlemans took this photograph while reporting from Tyre, in southern Lebanon, during the 34-day summer war with Israel. “I was just returning from shooting the arrival of some humanitarian aid to the besieged town,” he recalls, “when, right in front of me, a five- or six-story building went up in smoke.” Oerlemans ran toward the wrecked building, where, he says, “I witnessed the first casualties being carried away from the scene. In the smoldering ruins, dazed people were stumbling around, some trying to get themselves together, others frantically pulling others from underneath the rubble.” An air alarm went off, indicating the Israeli bombers might return. “Everyone fled,” Oerlemans says. But this boy remained, “stoically” wandering through the smoke. “We never spoke,” the photographer recalls. “I’m not sure why he was picking up those books.”