Oh that this too, too solid flesh:
A year ago I stood on a busy Cincinnati street and took photos of a violent altercation while a son tried to reach police. This year I stood in a public place in Chicago and took photos of a different crime, gross aesthetic bad judgment and cruelty to friends. A bride with an enormous party of wedding attendants was having a photo shoot in Millennium Park.
Holy Rubenesque Renoirs, Batman! Why does the bride want her best friends and closest relations to look like boiled hot dogs? Just a few blocks away the Chicago Art Institute has an exhibit of Matisse's "Radical Invention" centered on the artist's World War I-era monumental nudes.
Back in the Wonder Bread all-white Sixties we had "flesh" Crayola crayons in our box of 128. Never, ever would any third-grader choose "flesh" for a paper doll's fashions. In 1970, Lefler junior high girls shunned flesh-colored pantyhose, aka "nude", preferring the fake "suntan" sandal-foot shade.
Today I learned that young persons tag photos when they want their Facebook friends to view uploads. "If you want a friend to see your picture of a whale, you tag it with that friend's name." It's clever, certainly, but wide open to misinterpretation. Please, please don't tag blubbery photos with my name! And please, please don't ask me to wear a flesh-tone satin bridesmaid outfit.
© 2010 Nancy L. Ruder