Dress Up Takes a Turn

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Dress-Up Takes A Turn
Most children growing up play fantasy games and games that trigger the imagination. One game that is widely popular is playing dress-up. I remember playing dress-up with my younger brother when we were little kids. We would play together for hours and would dress-up in old Halloween costumes. My brother, Chris, being four years younger than me would put on my Halloween costumes and at his age would not think anything was wrong. That gets into the questions of who is allowed to play dress up and what clothes can you wear? Are boys allowed to play dress up just as girls are and if so can they wear girls clothing? This becomes the question of how far is too far? I found two pictures; one of a little boy in a princess dress playing dress up and then the next picture of one female and four males who are dressed in provocative women’s clothes. If I were to choose which pictures to publish I would choose to publish neither of the pictures. At first I found the second picture more disturbing but then looking into it more I thought the first picture of the little boy with the text “future embarrassment guaranteed” to be mean and unnecessary for the boy. I feel as if it is already embarrassing this boy at a young age. I would also not publish the second picture in the newspaper because I do not think that cross-dressing males is what people want to see in their newspaper. It would offend me to see it in the newspaper because I think cross-dressing is morally wrong and does not need to be displayed to the public eye.

The first image shows a little boy smiling who is wearing a pink princess dress and is also holding an Elmo doll down in front of him. The boy’s mother made this layout and was the one who added the text “Future embarrassment guaranteed,” next to the little boy. He is positioned slightly off centered to the right. The boy is the only object in the image with the words on the left side of the layout. When I looked at this photo and saw where his mom positioned the boy I noticed that perhaps she maybe did this on purpose. She made boy look small against the all white background with excess white space above him. It looks as almost she was trying to put down the boy by saying he will be embarrassed later on in life because the photo looks taken at or positioned at a looking down angle. By doing that she is making him self-conscious now. I feel as if the audience would see the angle it was taken and find it wrong and humiliating the boy. If the young boy would have been the only thing in the picture and it was only cropped around him it would have given a different perception on the layout. The audience then would not be looking down on him instead they would be looking straight at him. The boy is against a solid white background and this was done to make the bright shades of pink, red and yellow stand out in this color photo. The background emphasizes the attention on the boy. With the plainness of the background the audience can clearly see that the boy is smiling looking happy and straight at the camera. The image is used to construct the narrative that the little boy has an imagination and likes to dress up. The colors are used to make the boy stand out and then used to illustrate the point of the text.

The text reads “Future embarrassment guaranteed.” Along with a smaller message that says “I’m not sure what you were thinking, but this day you decided to dress up. Luckily, you didn’t go too far, and you left the pink high heels in the closet.” The boy’s mother made this layout and posted it on a scrap booking blog. When first looking at this layout I agreed with David Campbell’s book in which he quotes Susan Sontag who states, “photographs may be more memorable than moving images…each photograph is a privileged moment, turned into a slim object that one can keep and look at it again.” Like this quote the photographer first took this picture as a keepsake to remember the moment...
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