Framing Points of View
I have taken a few film classes here and there; one thing these classes alway talk about or draw attention to is the framing of actors and actresses in films.
Granted in these film classes we disregard and/or ignore the possible gendered nature of these framings, the idea(s) behind analyzing framing techniques in film and (in this case) photography is similar: what is the person behind the apparatus trying to explain/explore in his or her work? I find these framings ideas/perceptions and their interpretations by different individuals a rather fascinating topic because it demonstrates the radically different personalities/points of view/mindsets of the individuals interpreting the photograph. Case in point: in class on Tuesday, the picture of the anorexic/bulimic girl in front of the evergreen tree was perceived by one peer as defiant and/or strong willed. I found this particularly interesting in that I personally would not have (and did not) interpret the girl and photograph in that manner. With her placement in the center of the frame and, I feel, as prominent a figure as the evergreen tree behind her, it would make sense that someone could interpret the photograph as such. Personally, I got a sense of sadness in her as a whole image (her eye contact, body placement and frown were indicators I used to draw that conclusion) but that, again, is just my reading of the picture.
The same goes for the Drew Barrymore picture (the fallen "waitress"). While I can most definitely find the gendered, borderline pornographic reading of the picture, I do think in one (perhaps best labeled "perverse") reading of the picture, Barrymore and her pose could be considered kitschy. There is a certain tastelessness to the picture but at the same time the colors, concept (grapefruit and cherries?), and almost manly presentation of Barrymore push the picture toward kitschy. A woman as famous as Drew Barrymore needn't really "sell" her body in this particular manner to earn money. In that was, I feel that this photography becomes ostentatious. It becomes an exercise in wealth because she does not need money. She is (presumably) posing in this picture to shock those that view it.
Yet another reading of this same photograph (Barrymore) could be her declaration of the rejection of feminine stereotypes. Because the image is so excessive (such overtly sexual connotations, the pink-ness of her uniform and of the grapefruits, the fact that she is dressed as a waitress, etc) and she is directly addressing the camera with her gaze, it appears that she is rejecting the "gaze" as per Mulvy's explanation. She has some sort of agency because she is looking back. This is just another reading but I find it "cool" (for lack of a better term) that such diametrically opposed reading can come from the same photograph (and in this case, from even the same person). As a general note, I don't know that I feel particularly strongly one way or another to the photograph. At first I was a little offended, but the more I analyzed and thought about the image, the more I felt my perception of the photograph changed.