Diane Abbott's portrait

(51 Posts)
ThisOneAndThatOne Mon 13-Jan-14 15:48:23

I think it is important to continue our historical record by having portraits made of politicians. So this is not a thread about the cost.

I am just really taken aback that the portrait of our most famous black female MP shows her without clothing (just head and shoulders).

What does everyone else think?

Will find a link and post in a sec.

MadIsTheNewNormal Tue 14-Jan-14 11:45:35

I think having a bare top half is a very odd decision for the job she's in, but it doesn't offend me particularly. but God, what a bloody awful portrait that is.I can see that the painter is very skilled but it just doesn't look like her, and it's terribly unflattering. The top half of her head is disporportionately small, her nose is all wrong, her ears look too low, it's just wrong!

Beachcomber Tue 14-Jan-14 11:45:42

Am well, hope you are too, good to see you smile . Will stop now!

MomsStiffler Tue 14-Jan-14 11:47:07

Lot of assumptions that a female MP who is known for being strong minded & not suffering fools gladly was somehow coerced into this.

What on earth about her leads you to this conclusion?

Black woman portrayed in her natural animalistic state says more about that poster than it does about Diane Abbott or the photographer in my mind....

MomsStiffler Tue 14-Jan-14 11:47:47

for "photographer" read "painter"... blush

weirdthing Tue 14-Jan-14 11:51:00

I find Diane Abbott inappropriate in general and I say that as a lefty.

Mitchy1nge Tue 14-Jan-14 11:58:45

who said she was coerced? we don't have to be coerced into stuff in order to wonder how many of our choices are made in a cultural vacuum or whatever the saying is

QueenThora Tue 14-Jan-14 12:08:11

It may be that she thought it was a good idea. It may be that someone else did and she was persuaded into it, maybe thinking it would be a bit radical or interesting.

I am wondering if she really was sitting in a very low and wide-cut top (which she does wear) and this was the result and there was not really an intent to appear naked as such, but the result is a bit unfortunate.

I also think whatever the reason for the naked effect, the fact that it's so unflattering, and that she looks slightly uncomfortable and ungroomed, all add to the effect of making it look as if it is saying something about her being in some kind of "natural state", and not in a good way.

I mean she can be very groomed, she wears make-up (not that she should, but most women in her position do and definitely would for a portrait), she can be seen in specs and smart clothes. It's very odd that hers among all the other portraits is the one that emphasis these natural aspects.

MomsStiffler Tue 14-Jan-14 12:55:52

Aside from the "nudity", it is a bloody awful picture. More like a picture of her Spitting Image puppet....

Pointing out that someone has done something that (to an outsider who isn't privy to their thought processes) appears to perpetuate the oppression of the group to which that person belongs doesn't mean that the pointer outer is saying that the person doing the do has been coerced.

And if you get through that sentence, have some cake. I think the pain and the neurofen is sending my clarity mojo off into space.

Mitchy1nge Tue 14-Jan-14 13:59:39

it makes perfect sense

I didn't know we had cake! am just agreeing with you so I can have some

I don't think anyone did say that Diane was somehow forced to be painted in a way that made her look naked, just pointing out that this is how black women tend to be depicted

MomsStiffler Tue 14-Jan-14 14:26:47

I'll grab some cake too as I think I got it! blush

I hadn't noticed that black women often get depicted like this - will keep an eye out for this particular practice now thanks!

Beachcomber Tue 14-Jan-14 14:33:08

MomsStiffler when I said "Black woman portrayed in her natural animalistic state", I was referring to the common racist stereotype - not how I see women of colour. I would hate for that post to be unclear!

I had just agreed with another poster who said there was something colonialistic about the image.

Women of colour are often portrayed as 'tribal' or 'natural' or 'animal' or 'wild' or 'oversexed' - this portrait of Diane Abbott disturbed me because of that. It smacks of lazy racist + sexist stereotyping to me.

This is a subject that comes up a lot in feminism; how women of colour are subject to a different sort of misogyny to white women, as it is a mix of sexism and racism. This portrait seems to me to be an hugely crass example of such attitudes. Hence why I wonder if a white female politician would have been portrayed in this way - as I say, I doubt it.

Mitchy1nge Tue 14-Jan-14 14:35:41

did you see Lily Allen's recent vid? bit of chat about it here

Mitchy1nge Tue 14-Jan-14 14:36:40

that was to moms something

Beachcomber Tue 14-Jan-14 14:49:23

Does Diane Abbott braid her hair?

I don't think I've ever seen her with it braided. Willing to be corrected on that though.

You can all have some cake even if you didn't follow my clumsy phrase.

I was responding to whoever said they didn't think DA had been coerced into doing the portrait. I wanted to express the opinion that just because there may be sexist and racist influences at work, doesn't mean that there was coercion. The two things are different.

Geddit? grin

Beachcomber Tue 14-Jan-14 14:58:06

I got it.

So I shall claim my cake

cake

^^

There it is.

MostWicked Tue 14-Jan-14 15:09:33

I think it is important to continue our historical record by having portraits made of politicians

Why? Why is there any need for portraits at all? What is wrong with photos? Portraits were needed in a time before cameras, but not now.

The artistic nature of a portrait, makes the unclothed image somehow more acceptable, whereas a photo would be more honest, accurate and real, and I doubt is would have been taken topless!

Beachcomber Tue 14-Jan-14 15:18:31

Ta Buffy - thought your sentence was jolly good actually. Not clumsy. Tricky thing to put into words.

Mitchy1nge Tue 14-Jan-14 15:27:38

What is wrong with photos? Portraits were needed in a time before cameras, but not now

yeah they should do selfies and do away with all this state importance guff

it is such a horrible portrait though, I can't stop clicking back to look at it

pertempsnooo Tue 14-Jan-14 15:27:43

Haha agree that this could spark off a great (if rather hideously unattractive) feminist art project representing male politicians naked... maybe some with oranges in their mouths...
She should not have done this, ugh! what was she thinking!? Anyone know where this shite is going?

Mitchy1nge Tue 14-Jan-14 15:28:50

I wouldn't mind seeing Dan Poulter naked

Mitchy1nge Tue 14-Jan-14 15:35:44

and that throws up some lovely results via google images even if none of those bodies are him

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