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At ITS we specialize in quality, affordable small to medium size business IT support that bridges the gap between business and technology. Not only do we provide superior customer service, we also act as your trusted technology adviser ensuring the best technology investments to produce the highest return on investment.
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  • Comment Link Dolphins elite limited game Jerseys Wednesday, 09 April 2014 21:38 posted by Dolphins elite limited game Jerseys

    High heeled shoes, like the corset, are an example of fashion supporting the female gender identity by constricting and binding women. The narrow toed high heel shoe that has been so popular in recent years, forces the foot and ankle into an unnatural position, as well as restricting the toes. The heel places the foot at an angle, making the legs look longer and more elegant and drawing attention to the ankle (which has long been associated with physical attraction) (Lurie, 1992, p227). This angle also forces the woman to 'strut' to some extent in order to walk. The unnatural position inevitably makes standing and walking for any length of time painful as well as making running at any speed an impossibility. Any woman in heels attempting to outrun a man is certain to fail, thus reaffirming mans position of dominance. Yet high heeled shoes are extremely popular and are considered quite stylish, even being worn with jeans (Lurie, 1992, p227). This example in particular highlights femininity as a construction being based on appearance not physical ability. The appearance of a long leg is considered superior to being able to actually utilize it. This unhealthy focus on women's appearance rather than their physical ability and health has been perpetrated by the fashion industry for decades. One of the dominant messages that fashion conveys is that women should be thin (Macdonald, 1995, p201).

  • Comment Link Infini Women Louis Vuitton Shoulder Bags And Totes M93448 Wednesday, 09 April 2014 21:38 posted by Infini Women Louis Vuitton Shoulder Bags And Totes M93448

    A woman wearing men's clothing does not conform to the feminine ideal and as such is recognisably subverting it. The fact that this subversion is identifiable highlights the gendered nature of the fashion industry and the way in which it supports society's belief in the feminine being separate from the masculine. If gender identity is learnt, then by choosing our own clothes we reflect how well we have learnt to be masculine or feminine. For cross dressers fashion is a means of either constructing a gendered identity different to the one expected of them or parodying the constructed nature of gender itself.

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    Whilst fashion may try to subvert or construct gender identities, it may simply support social ideals already in place. As Malcom Barnard writes in his book Fashion as Communication, "Signs are only meaningful on the basis of their relations to all other signs" (1996, p156). In this way fashion can only convey a meaning when coupled with other signs (particularly the body itself), and as such cannot construct a gendered identity of its own accord. In order for clothing to be a signifier of a gender identity, that gender identity must already be constructed in order to give fashion its meaning. In which case, fashion is not constructing gender identities; it is reflecting and reinforcing them. Not all fashions have been accepted by society, the most obvious examples being skirts and the colour pink not being acceptable for men (Lurie, 1992, p214). Some designers, like Jennifer Minniti, have attempted to promote skirts and dresses as a male alternative; however such designs have not succeeded in the mainstream (Shreve, 1998). This is likely due to them not conforming to society's expectations of gender identities. Men in skirts are still considered to be cross dressing, and as such skirts remain signifiers of femininity. Gender identity also comprises more than appearance. Gesture, behaviour and social standing all contribute to a person's gender identity, and whilst fashion can attempt to draw on or hide these signifiers it cannot do so completely.

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    Judith Butler has been an influential figure in the study of whether gender is a construction or inherent. According to Butler in her book Gender Trouble, a gender identity is a series of gender signifiers, for example, gestures, which are learnt via mimesis and reinforced through repetition (Butler, 1990, p6). Through this reinforcement the performance of gender also becomes internalised so that we come to believe these masculine and feminine identities are 'normal'. As such, gender is a social construction imposed on individuals based on their anatomy (sexual identity) (Butler, 1990, p6 If gender identity is learnt, then it is not inherent, and therefore does not necessarily coincide with ones sexual identity. By encoding specific garments and styles as either feminine or masculine, it becomes much clearer what gender someone is because their appearance (and as such part of their gender identity) is expected to coincide with their sexual identity. In this way, what is considered masculine and feminine in regards to dress is also a social construction. As fashion is primarily considered a feminine concern (, it is through examples of the female gender identity that fashions influence can best be seen.

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    Cross dressing has been utilized by performers like comedian Barry Humphries, as a means of making a social statement. Humphries' famous character Dame Edna Everage has become a popular entertainment figure. Through this character Humphries is able to explore and parody the construction of femininity. Dame Edna is deliberately extreme in her appearance, often wearing large ornate glasses and purple hair (Dame Edna The Official Site). She is an example of exaggerated femininity which borders on the grotesque. She is a loaded signifier, with her purple hair and extremely costume like clothes she is the epitome of gender as construction and denaturalises the idea that there is a natural gendered state. Such parody is not limited to cross dressing however, it can also be revealed through strategically designed garments like the Jean Paul Gaultier corset which Madonna famously wore.

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    Fashion can certainly be used to parody, subvert and deconstruct gender identities (particularly the feminine), however, in the mainstream, it can only ever reflect the social conscious behind it. If society is not ready for men to wear skirts, then skirts will not be bought by the majority of men. Whilst designers like Jean Paul Gaultier can attempt to deconstruct gender stereotypes through fashion, many of these subversions can still be read as supporting the distinction between gender identities. Fashion and dress is influenced by both the body itself and the range of signs that it refers to, making it difficult to determine where fashion ends and social consciousness begins.

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    Fashion and Gender

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    Gaultier's design can be read as an attempt at subverting the objectification of women through fashion. By taking on a traditional signifier of women's restriction, that is, the corset, and placing large cone shaped breasts on it, it can be said that Gaultier has created an image of female empowerment (French, 2004). By making the corset visible he highlights the way in which women have been forced to conform to accepted standards of beauty, and the way in which these standards are constructed. The cones add to this reading by removing the maternal aspects of the breast and indicating the way in which they have been objectified and the unnatural form that has become the beauty standard in western culture (French, 2004). However this design could also be seen not as a parody and symbol of empowerment, but as a reinforcement of patriarchal ideals.

  • Comment Link Louis Vuitton UK M40331 Brea MM Rubis Wednesday, 09 April 2014 21:38 posted by Louis Vuitton UK M40331 Brea MM Rubis

    There is no inherent reason for an item of clothing, for example a skirt, to be considered feminine. Roland Barthes, in his book The Diseases of Costume, writes of theatrical dress as a kind of language in which the basic element is the sign (Lurie, 1992, p3). This statement can be expanded to include all elements of dress away from the theatre. If clothing is a sign therefore, it must be given a meaning and this meaning, as with all signs, is constructed. For example, society has identified the skirt as a signifier of femininity, which has been reinforced through repeated exposure (both through the media and on the street) to images of women in skirts and men in trousers. The fact that the gender signification of this garment has altered indicates that fashion, just like gender itself, is a social construction, with fashion items becoming loaded signs. If our appearance is an accumulation of signs then we each reveal something about ourselves through our choice of garments; clothing becomes a reflection of our identity. Whilst fashion does allow women to experiment with their image and different ways of portraying femininity, as something primarily constructed for the male gaze it still confines women to a choice between constructed female identities (Barnard, 1996, p140).

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    Fashion perpetuates the image of the slender woman being the ideal feminine and can sometimes have significantly detrimental effects. Due to the mass production of clothing, it has become easier for the fashion industry to encourage women to be slender (Macdonald, 1995, p208). Many of the most fashionable garments are not made larger than a woman's Australian size fourteen. This encourages women to diet and exercise in order to lose weight, a trend also encouraged by the many advertisements involving slender women. One disturbing result of society's fascination with being thin has been the rise in eating disorders, including anorexia (Macdonald, 1995, p208). In Australia's November 2004 issue of Cosmopolitan an article was run entitled 'Anorexia for Sale'. This article discussed Mary Kate Olson, a well known actress, and her public struggle with Anorexia Nervosa. Images of Olsen and other famous women who appear to be unhealthily thin, such a Kate Moss, have been used on websites known as 'pro ana' sites, that is, websites supporting anorexia as a 'lifestyle choice' as opposed to an illness (Percival, 2004, p62). Many of these sites have begun to sell 'ana bracelets' and 'ana necklaces' which are a means of identifying other anorexics and which serve as a reminder not to eat. This jewellery has proven quite popular within the anorexic community (Percival, 2004, p62). This is an extreme example of fashion (or in this case accessories) being used to specifically propagate the idea of being thin. On the other hand clothing can also be used to raise awareness of eating disorders and encourage women not to go so far. T shirts with the slogan 'Save Mary Kate' and a drawing of her emaciated figure were released with just this intention (Percival, 2004, p62). Released when Mary Kate began her rehabilitation, the emaciated drawing on the t shirts is far from attractive and draws attention to her bones and the unnaturalness of being so thin. The words 'Save Mary Kate' could be read in one of two ways however, they could refer to the fact that she is need of help, thus constructing her as a victim, or they could be referring to the desirability of her image and a wish that she remain so thin, thus the implication could be 'Save Mary Kate from the rehabilitation clinic'. This second reading is supported by the image itself, in which she is smiling and returning the gaze of the viewer. This subverts the intended message that she is a victim.

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