In an editorial Monday, Jezebel condemned Bulgarian magazine 12's recent "fashion" spread depicting graphic violence against women. (Heads up -- the photos in these links are particularly graphic. Also Not Safe For Work).
Anyway, the editors of 12 caught wind of the criticism and attempted to defend their editorial decision in a letter they sent Jezebel late Tuesday night:
Hello, We are 12 Magazine, and we feel like we need to answer to the questions raised in various articles online, concerning our beauty editorial "Victim of Beauty". First of all, we would like to say we are happy that our shoot provoked an international discussion, at some scale. It is also important to say, that we do NOT support violence of ANY kind, and this is NOT a shoot glamorizing, or encouraging, or supporting violence against women. We believe that images such as ours can be seen from various angles, and we think that exactly that is what is beautiful about fashion and photography in general -- that anybody can understand it their own way, and fill it with their own meaning. Where some see a brutal wound, others see a skilful work of an artist, or an exquisite face of a beautiful girl. That being said, we do understand why some accuse us of promoting, in a way, violence, but we do not agree with that, and we think that it is very narrow-minded way of looking at the photographs. And after all, isn't it true that we see brutally wounded people all the time, in real life -- on television, in the news, in movies, videogames, magazines and websites, and they are all very different, but alike in one thing: some are real, some are not. And fashion photography is an imitation of real life, sometimes realistic, sometimes delicate, other times grotesque, or shocking. In closure, we are provoking even further discussion by asking you and your readers just two questions: 1. How would you perceive those photographs, if they were accompanying an campaign against domestic violence? Would you still think of them as disgusting or you would praise them as brave and thought-provoking? Worth the think, isn't it? 2. What would you say if those where bespoken men, carefully groomed, but still, terribly injured? Probably nothing, and quite frankly that's a bit sexist. Kind regards, Huben Hubenov and Slav Anastasov Editors in Chief
Needless to say, the "sexist" Jezebel writers weren't impressed.