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…

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…

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….

Hitachi Magic Wand

Hitachi Magic Wand (1968) Plastic and rubber 12”, 1.2 lbs The bright white body and electric blue accents of the Hitachi Magic Wand make it seem almost clinical in nature. Its bulky handle and bulbous head are notably not phallic, allowing sexual fulfillment outside the context of male genitalia. The Magic Wand first came on…

Wallpaper

“Cherry Forever”, the first commercially available scented wallpaper, evokes nostalgia and whimsy through its scratch-and-sniff surface. Drawing upon the traditions of wallpaper designers like William Morris, “Cherry Forever” imbues the history of bringing nature into the home with the sensibilities of the pop art movement through common-object motifs and saturated color pallets. Provoking a new…

Fitbit

The Fitbit Flex 2 is a wristband that quantifies bodily activities such as steps, calories, distance traveled, and hours slept. The data collected is visualized in the Fitbit app. The band frames the brain of the device, the LED display. Bands come in customizable colors for integrated daily wear and are made of elastomer material….

Fidget Quilts

Fidget quilts are often lap-size and are intended to be comforting and welcoming, with elements that can be worked many times, like zippers and snaps. They have grown in popularity in the past few years, as members of libraries and religious groups have begun sewing them for people with memory loss conditions, to distract from…

Dr. Martens

1460 Pascal Boot, Hell Print; made by Dr. Martens, 1960 – Smooth leather, air-cushioned welted sole, yellow stitching “For five decades Dr. Martens have been worn by workers, for whom they were designed, but also by rebels and non-conformists of all stripes.” – Dr. Martens Shoes often seem more independent from the body than other…