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…

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…

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…

Dr. Martens

The usage of Dr. Martens by queer people highlights the duality of identity signaling and identity construction. Gender is made visible through repeated actions within a matrix of social meaning. Through Dr. Martens, queer masculinity is shown to not be innate but to be continually realized and affirmed. The brand’s advertising focuses on their history…

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…