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October 2012

Women & Media

Cause and Effect: How the Media You Consume Can Change Your Life from Miss Representation on Vimeo.

I recently have been turned on to an organization that is creating change for women by opposing the sexism that appears on the internet. My eyes were made open to this by my friend YingYing who is an active feminist and remains feminine. I didnt really know that I also shared these feelings because I am often the paun in front of the camera doing whatever the photographer is asking me to do.

Recently I was appauled by the GO DADDY television commercials and embarrassed to say that I host my main domains with Go Daddy even though they have often made mistakes and made me loose domains due to messups on their system, like the one that drove my lost domain price up to 10,000 dollars (thank you go daddy) due to a "glitch" in their system that made me compete against myself with out to notify me. How can I keep my domains hosted at Go Daddy when they clearly demean and damage the image of women? It's complicated to move the domains to another host, but I shall indeed take the time to do it because I can clearly see that Go Daddy think that as a woman, I"m useless in technology because we have CARL, actually keeps everything running. That may be true for Go Daddy, but it's not true for my friend Heather Hobson who is one of the most talented network engeneers in the world (my statement) and keeps the T1 lines up on Times Square running day and night. I'd love to hear her opinion of the Go Daddy commercials.


Newest Miss Representation Trailer (2011 Sundance Film Festival Official Selection) from Miss Representation on Vimeo.

You can have a look yourself at them here:

Poor Charlene...I wish you would study computer science instead of just petting that otter and sending senators into early retirement. What about Selina? SHE gets all the attention and Wayne pays attention.

After seeing this movement "MISS REPRESENTATION" I cant help but feel responsable in part as a fashion model. Although I dont design the campaigns, nor shoot them, I am responsable for my actions in front of the camera. I admit it. I fall into the trap of playing the SEXY woman because that's what is required of me. The photograher says "More Sexy, Anina. Open your lips." and I do it. The other day on a shooting I suddenly becamse aware of myself kneeling and gripping the male model's leg...or caressing his hand with a fake kiss as he towered over me. Sure, I'm not really a SEXY girl--I'm like a high class power woman style, and yet, those power women in fashion seem to be dominatrix style characters who controll everything and are super smart with billions in the bank (how did they get them? Marry rich in the inference). I also can totally understand the model who plays the role of Charlene or Selina, because what they really are thinking (and I have thought it too!) is that the advertsing TVC residuals are going to be big and in her pocket!

At one point I'm becoming a for women and technology, and I still work as a model (when they call with $$ in their hand why should I say no as a young entrepreneur) which I find a nice break from computers and business (contracts sometimes do my head in!). At which point do I become more concious of what I'm projecting in the media. If you have seen my most recent photoshoots, in Agenda Magazine, and this month's LIfestyle Magazine, you will see the type of images that I am making (literally putting the concept together and the photoshoot together with the photographer) they are projecting a positive self image for women and technology. Only by seizing the controll myself, can I controll the image. When I"m working for a client, I am at the beck and call of the brand. 

About Being Sexy. Yes, every girl (woman) wants to be considered attractive and for centuries we have dressed up, sung, needlepointed our way to show our talents like in the modern day talent competitions (can you tell I recently watched Marie Antoinette) in order to raise ourselves out of the economic crisis by "selling" ourselves to men. Most of the time I operate my energy levels as neuter central--not male or female--I'm just me. I dont think about what gendor I am because I"m focused on other things. When it comes to an event, suddenly I have to dress up and perform to people and then I'm made more aware that I am feminine against the masculine people I meet. It's a balance--but how to find the middle between being sexy/powerful/adored/admired and portraying a positive self image for women? What is the positive self image for women? Is it a neuter central or non-feminist way? Is it a no-sexy zone? What is it?

I dont have the answer.

The Web is Dead -- All Hail the Mobile King

Someone emailed me the other day telling me that I should "give it up" and realize that no one reads my blog. In many ways it is true--I am more on facebook now these days and building up my Anina Dress Up facebook page to promote my iPhone game and website (which has over 1500 people signed up to the newsletter and 20k registered and active users without any promotion--yeah!), along with really posting a lot on my Sina Weibo (9000 followers) and RenRen (5500 followers). The primary reason for this is because Sina Weibo is not blocked in China (I have a Windows Phone 7 device and to my knowledge there's no way to set a proxy easily or at all) and I've recently become super active on facebook thanks to my new favorite browser, ROCKMELT (I love you Rockmelt! Please integrate Chinese social media!).

That doesn't mean that no one is listening to my blog when I do write--or that because my blog has been around for so long it has a high googl search engine ranking, or that the term "Model Blogger" doesnt call me up in the first position because I really was the first model blogger (Thanks to Marc Canter who is really brilliant--he explains everything to me in the tech world in fashion terms. I love it.) The person who criticized me said that no one is following my blog according to the alexa ranking--well that's just web views. Actually, all the traffic has switched to RSS followers, and then to all the mobile apps downloaded with my blog inside, and when I do blog something it posts on my facebook page (2500+ followers) and people comment--on the facebook post. The conversation has shifted, and that doesnt mean the blog is any less meaningful. It means that the replies and the views come from other places. 

Additionally, I am happy to say short things on facebook, but when I want to really talk about something, I do it on my blog. Although sparingly now, when I do blog something, it's because it's super important to me and I want to take the time to write about it. Back in 205-2006 I rapidly saw the bloggosphere take shape, in 2007-2008 everyone else in the fashion industry finally caught on, and I already moved on and predicted that the blog would evolve into a publication. I remember telling Imran Amed exactly that--and indeed, his blog, THE BUSINESS OF FASHION (my idea and point of view to him!) has evolved off the blog and into a online newspaper. Voilla right again, just way ahead of the times.

Although I don't blog every day mainly because Typepad doesnt have a mobile client that works for Windows Phone 7 and I can't make a proxy work on the phone to get to their mobile site, I do feel that when I want to say something long, it should be here.

Recently, I've starting writing my book about women and entrepreneurship with the help of my friend and interviewing lots of super (role) models. You can be sure that I'm looking back on my past blogs when I first started to get the idea to write about modelling and grab those posts to put into the book. I knew then that I would be writing a book, so I blogged certain chapters so that I could recouperate them later--thank you for the blog.

I read blogs every day, and I have seen a shift from long blog posts to shorter tweet style posts to pinterist style posts to full on photoblogs. I am not sure how I feel about this shift. First, I think there's a real lack of credting going on of photos, and sources. Second, I feel that if other people didn't have the possibility to write blog posts, I would really have a lack of information. Recently I wanted to find out how to create irrigation for my houseplants--I found so much information online thanks to pinterist that lead me to blog posts with the HOW TO explanation on them.

Yes, is facebook easier to jot down a short note and post a photo? Yes, because I can do it from my ROCKMELT--is it a hassle to login to Typepad and click 4 buttons before I can create a blog post? For posting videos, yes. Do I maintain my blog by email to blog? Yes, great. Could Typepad help me out by creating a blogging tool for my phone--I wish. Could I get a proxy working on my phone--in my dreams.

Maintaining social media and social connections and social contact is very hard in todays world because we give so much time to work, work, working for our dreams. Thanks to these great tools though, I'm starting to do better and keep better in contact across all my social medias spanning the globe. Do I wish RockMelt would integrate sina weibo--yes you betcha. Am I excited to upgrade my MACBOOK PRO to the new IOS so it will work with Chinese social media--I cant wait till all the bugs are fixed and I can install it.

Is the Web dead? Not sure about that. Is this the Mobile Era--absolutely.