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Sunday, October 17, 2021

‘BE A LADY THEY SAID’

Claire Rothstein, British photographer and publisher of the fashion magazine Girls Girls Girls, takes a hard, steely look at what is expected of women in a world fraught with stereotypes often cast in stone.

Twenty million views and counting. That was the number of views that the fashion film, where Cynthia Nixon, the former Sex and the City star, reads a steely and staccato poem about the near-impossible body and fashion standards imposed upon women, had garnered within days of being posted on Vimeo and Instagram. The video was also shared by the likes of Madonna.

Claire Rothstein, English photographer and publisher of the fashion magazine, Girls Girls Girls, told The Guardian: “We thought it might get a response, but it’s been completely mad.”

Nixon’s gritty, forbidding is juxtaposed against a kaleidoscope of some brilliantly crafted and visceral glamorous shots with models, such as Georgia May Jagger, Erin Wasson, Sam Rollinson, and actors Rose McGowan, Rachel McAdams, and Vanessa Hudgens. The visuals are sharp and rain stinging blows on notions and pretentions.

The racy visuals are blended with film clips from Hollywood and recent news footage, including one of a smirking and pouting US President Donald Trump and disgraced #MeToo director Harvey Weinstein.

The poem that Cynthia Nixon reads is a 2017 work by Camille Rainville, from her blog entitled “Writings of a Furious Woman”. “Your skirt is too short. Your shirt is too low… Don’t be a temptress. Men can’t control themselves. Men have needs. Look sexy. Look hot. Don’t be so provocative. Wear black. Wear heels…” Rainville is a young undergraduate at the University of Vermont whose eponymous poem went viral when she first published it on Facebook in 2017. 

Directed by Rothstein’s partner Paul McLean, the fashion film has been essentially made for the #MeToo generation.

Credits:

Words: Camille Rainville

Narrator: Cynthia Nixon

Director: Paul McLean

Music: Louis Souyave

Producer: Claire Rothstein

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