Issue 12  •  Spring 2013

Rebel Girls

Are you a smart lady interested in reading David Hasselhoff’s autobiography Don’t Hassel the Hoff? Or a hard-working student who would like to read a review of romance novelist Cassie Edward’s Desiree’s Blossom before actually putting money down on it? If you answered yes, or were even slightly curious about either of these questions, here’s your chance to get in on something great: women being smart...and indulging in trashy novels.

Playing Dress Up With Vadis Turner

Written by Julie Fishkin
Vadis Turner uses typical objects of everyday girlhood to make even more girly-ish objects. The thing is, she inverts all of her material. In Vadis’ world, lingerie isn’t made out of lace, it is constructed from wax paper. Her cakes aren’t flour and frosting, they are layers of tampons. She has shown her work in galleries in Brooklyn, Boston, Los Angeles, and Tokyo. From my very first studio visit, when I spent hours playing with her tea party set, replete with fake little chocolates made from discarded kitchen materials, cupcakes made of yarn, and bead-filled cups of tea, I loved Vadis' work. I even became a proud collector of a Turner of my own—this amazing little prom dress made out of equal packets. Counting calories in hopes of fitting into this perfect dress with skinny straps and a tiny waistline—the simultaneous struggle and downfall of girls in a nutshell. We met at my place early enough to talk about her Southern sensibilities juxtaposed with being a  woman living in NYC, making art in this context, and—one day—having babies.

Courtney Martin published her first poem in Highlights when she was “barely walking.” It was about M&M’s. Since then she has written for The New York Times, The Village Voice, and Christian Science Monitor, among others, and taught at Brooklyn and Hunter Colleges. Not bad for someone in her twenties. Martin’s recent book, Perfect Girls: Starving Daughters: The Frightening New Normalcy of Hating Your Body, pinpoints and attempts to squash the interior self-hate monologues many women hear on a daily basis—“I’m fat and worthless” and “I’m politically powerless.”


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