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Vintage images of color

I love vintage images of people of color. I love vintage images, period, I've gotten extremely into period pierces that are immersed in the trappings and the zeitgeist of a different time, particularly of women. I love the differences in the way they dressed, how they decorated their homes, the music they listened to, it has this beautiful particularity to it. But it's especially compelling to see a woman of color with a sharply classic hairstyle or dress. It's very aesthetic to me, first of all, but it's more than just I find it pretty.

It's a powerful statement against erasure. Media, advertising, whatever until very recently only had white people in it. It's very easy to get an image of periods in the past as very whitewashed. But America had other people in it too, people who wore clothes and did their hair and participated in culture just like everybody else. It's one of the reasons I love the TV show Cold Case, which I am going to have to do a full review of some point. It solves murders from a long time ago, and it encapsulates fabulous period pieces that very often tell the untold, underrepresented stories of marginalized groups-- women, people of color, queer people, trans people. An in doing so, it depicts those people as we very rarely get to see them. Here are two images from particularly good episodes, one of a family that was sent to a Japanese internment camp during WWII, and one of a woman who traveled South to support the freedom schools during the Civil Rights Movement.

Family 8108


I love their vintage hair-- rolled in the forties, styled up and out in the sixties -- and their vintage clothes that are the marks of the time, and all the experiences, through which they lived. Vintage images of people of color, bearing the marks of the time and place in which they live, scream, "We were there! We experienced! The things that were going on then, we went through them! We mattered!" I love how Cold Case depicts this.

And, seriously. Are you going to tell me they're not fabulous?


daniela cold case


Seriously. As a side note, go watch Cold Case. Start with this episode, Best Friends, from which that last image is drawn. If it doesn't blow your mind with its fabulousness, well, I don't know what kind of person you are.


( 3 comments — Leave a comment )
May. 3rd, 2013 10:04 pm (UTC)
I am not especially interested in the fashion bits, surprising no one, but now you've made me want to watch Cold Case.
May. 4th, 2013 12:50 am (UTC)
It's a really well-made show. While not every episode is about marginalized groups, when they DO tackle them they do them in ways that are respectful, thoughtful, and honest. They call out the problems in culture that lead to bad things like murders happening, and their getting brushed aside that lead them to never being solved. And every episode nails the feel of the period so well, is beautifully written, and contain really compelling humanity that affects me like few TV shows ever have.

But seriously. Start with that ep I linked to, "Best Friends." PHENOMENAL.
May. 6th, 2013 06:44 am (UTC)
It's the shade of lipstick on the woman in the final picture that totally destroys me.


Assimilation and Japanese-Americans is such a complicated concept, especially in light of overwhelming pressures to conform from many different sides, from Imperial culture romanticizing "Old Nippon" to the pressure to become "good Americans." It is *still* a complicated problem faced by nisei and sansei, although the face of it has changed.

That lipstick, that smile--it speaks to me of positivity in face of unimaginable difficulty, of trying to stay true to one's cultural values from a country left behind and embrace the values of a country immigrated to.

It's just an amazing picture full of joy and sadness.
( 3 comments — Leave a comment )

About Me

My name is Phoebe. I'm Boston area theater professional and English professor focused in writing, acting, directing, and modeling. I'm known for having lots of interests, lots of opinions about those interests, and a very high estimation of the value thereof. This blog is for talking about whatever's on my mind, from my daily life to my activities to musing on any number of abstract topics. Thanks for taking the time to read.

My productions:

Upcoming Productions:

MRS. HAWKING part 2 and 3

at the Watch City Steampunk Festival 2016

presented by The Chameleon's Dish

Vivat Regina
by Phoebe Roberts

at 2PM


Base Instruments
by Phoebe Roberts

at 6PM

Saturday, May 13th 2017
at 274 Moody Street, Waltham, MA

Other Achievements:

"The Tailor at Loring's End" screenplay
Quarter Finalist in the Final Draft Big Break Screenwriting Competition 2013

"Adonis" screenplay
Top Ten Percent in the Bluecat Screenwriting Contest 2015

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April 2017


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