Further to Women Laughing Alone With Salad I bring you: Women Who Shush.
Direct eye contact is a very powerful force. Think of the history of portraiture, photography, sculpture. Long before Michelangelo first experimented with shadow, the ancient Greek statues, with their empty stone Gorgon orbs, demanded to be noticed. It’s why every Year 9 art project features a human eye, fringed with long, globby acrylic paint lashes. It’s why Luis Buñuel’s famous eye scalpel shot still makes us wince, 80 years later.
We have all the visual effects and design at our disposal to make great movie posters, yet most depict a human face, staring straight down a lens. What does this movie poster for Silver Linings Playbook say about its subjects? She’s mental, that’s what. Not looking at me, like some shady bitch. And him with a scar on his nose, inviting me to commiserate. He’s like ‘women be cray, amirite?’
Women Who Shush are the close sisters of the Duckface, the Selfie, and the Eyes Averted Yonder, Looking Twee. When you’ve noticed it once, you’ll see a whole lot of pretty women shushing you left and right. At tram stops, on billboards, in magazines, online. What are these wordless ladies trying to say? And what am I supposed to do about it?
Am I complicit in something? Did you do something really shit and now I’m not supposed to tell anyone about it? Did I drop something I shouldn’t have? Did I fart, and not notice? Was I yahooing in a coworking space?
Love your curves – but don’t make a big fucking deal out of it OK.
New celebrity; same old expression.
Is there a secret? OMG IS THERE A SECRET IN STEPFORD? IS IT THAT PEOPLE KEEP CASTING NICOLE KIDMAN.
I could get all Visual Pleasure and Narrative Cinema on you, yet I’m not totally convinced this is totally a male gaze issue. Women Who Shush are not always women.
Salim Mehajer overturned his entire suburb to get married, yet here he shushes the viewer. What gives, orange bro?
Do we ever see intelligent, cool ladies like Malala Yousafzai or Zadie Smith shushing strangers? No we do not. Those women have got better things to do with their faces, and their lives.
I have no answers here. Like the One Shoulder Up/I’m So Cute, or the woman who blocked my view of Saskwatch with the Hand Heart Gesture for over an hour, Women Who Shush are but a mystery for the ages.