Ruby Slippers

Dorothy’s ruby slippers were worn by actress Judy Garland in the 1939 film The Wizard of Oz. The shoes are blanketed in sequins, heeled, and topped with a bow. In the film, the slippers allow Dorothy to access magical, anti-wicked powers, and their crimson iridescence begs for the audience’s attention. The image of the ruby…

Waist Trainers

“The Works” Waist Trainer (Waist Gang Society, worn by Kim Kardashian [2014]. Commercially-produced object. Latex and plastic.) In 2014, Kim Kardashian Instagrammed herself wearing this waist trainer, with the hashtags #ad and #whatawaist. As an icon of ideal physical femininity today, she’s credited for bringing this object into the contemporary public sphere. The waist trainer is a…

Waist Trainers

This research paper is a study of the waist trainer as a point of intersection along two intertwining histories: white women’s corsetry and black women’s hyper-sexualization. Investigating the return of the corset into contemporary mainstream, the writer looks at the pressure on women to alter their bodies in order to appear at once respectable and…

Ruby Slippers

Dorothy’s ruby slippers can be established as a queer object through a queer reading of the Wizard of Oz. The shoes posses magically queer functions: they reclaim what once was an object of the powerful, they repel the touch of the wicked cis-heteronormative, and they can transport any queer “home.” Thus, they allow queerness to…

Interactions with AI

This essay is an analysis into the different materialites of AI and how they script their interactions with humans through gender and sex stereotypes.  Through the examination of the BMW GPS in Germany, the ELIZA Chatbot, Blabdroid, hitchBOT, and the “Amber Doll Project,” connections can start to be drawn about how the appearances and behaviors…

Alexa

Alexa is a virtual personal assistant developed by the company Amazon in November 2014.  Alexa performs tasks through voice commands, which provide an integrated and intuitive experience for users.  Some of Alexa’s features include: music playback, making to-do lists, setting alarms, and ordering food. The voice of Alexa brings into question the idea of how…

Condom

Condom Couture (2006, Adriana Bertini) Condom Couture consists of fourteen dresses constructed from multicolored condoms. Brazilian designer, Greenpeace activist, and HIV/AIDS awareness advocate Adriana Bertini has created hundreds of these untraditional ensembles in order to draw attention to current notions of condom usage and sexually-transmitted diseases. In order to promote the importance of using condoms, she…

Condom

Variations on traditional condoms include extended options for male condoms, female condoms, and ornamental condoms designed to increase pleasure during sex. Colored condoms, especially in brown and black shades, allow for diverse representation through condom color choice. This empowers brown and black-skinned people who seek condoms that match their skin color and do not drastically…

Thong

The thong, with its thin straps and minimal coverage, is an undergarment entangled with questions surrounding the appropriateness and delicacy of female sexual confidence. According to the 1996 Starr Report, Monica Lewinsky, then a White House intern, first seduced then-President of the United States, Bill Clinton, by showing him the straps of her thong underwear….

Thong

The three remixes and music videos of Sisqo’s “Thong Song” have reinforced the controversy and assumptions surrounding the thong as a sexual object. What the thong makes visible – the butt – is intertwined with the historic hypersexualizing of black female bodies, and how it is framed as oppositional to the purity of white female…