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Monday, 10 November 2003

Virtual vanity?

from CNN - not mineSome may call it an excuse to advance technology. Some may call it an excuse to indulge fantasy. I'm not sure what I call it just yet.

And I quote:
"Miss Digital World" is the first beauty contest reserved for the likes of video game heroine Lara Croft, computer-cloned actresses from the "Matrix" films and new beauties tweaked to perfection with 3D graphics.

I'm sure we've all heard stories about how women in computer-based representation are somewhat objectified. 36-24-36 and all that. Totin' guns, poutin' all over the place, hair perfect at all times.

What is the epitome of beauty in a virtual world? Does it mean anything? I wonder what sort of message that will send to the kids? 'Here's a yet another really unachievable standard that some techie people have set just because they can? ' or... 'Don't worry about this kids, we're just flexing our techno muscles, that's all.'

Where does this new representation of women fit in the gender identity puzzle? Is it soft pr0n? Or are these "Miss Digital Worlds" true objects, so avoiding all the talk about woman as object having real life/real meaning/real self? I wonder if it is helpful to translate this "epitome" to a virtual space, liberating real women from offline, objectified representation.

You can probably tell it's been a while since I engaged in any theoretical feminist discourse.

Posted at 9:19 pm

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