Friday, January 20, 2012

Mary Ellen Mark: Unattainable beauty ideal

Mary Ellen Mark is a great photographer.  I feel like she's the evolution of Dorothea Lange; the gritty photojournalism of real life through the eyes of an artist.  It's worth googling images of her work,or better yet, tracking down a book of her photographs.  The thing is, I had never seen her until I watched an episode of Work of Art tonight.  Gosh, she's so beautiful, and has amazing style!  I couldn't stop staring at her, which made me realize that I'm way less interested in the beauty of young models than I am in the beauty of older women.  It kind of seems like no big deal to be a gorgeous 19 year old, modelling agencies are overrun with them, but beautiful women in their 60's and 70's are just enthralling and much more likely to cause me to do a double take.  Am I only now realizing that the old cliche of things getting better with age is true?  That's lame of me!  But really, the confidence and personal style and unique looks that time bestows can't be faked until you've earned it.  

Look at her amazing ears.  Those must indicate wisdom or creativity or something, right?  And the thick hair and bold jewellery are so striking.  I guess part of it is wishful thinking on my part.  Just as I was never going to age into Linda Evangelista when I was mesmerised by her at twelve, I'll never age into Mary Ellen Mark.  It must be healthier to appreciate her beauty rather than that of a supermodel in any case.

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