Han Alexander Plays with Expectations
The majority of my readers are huge fans of Han Alexander, whom I featured a few months ago.
Now let’s look beyond Han’s initial appeal to her picture’s cultural and artistic implications. Though Han might not be aware of this, I see themes of vulnerability, cultural depictions of femininity, and cross-cultural styles throughout her pictures.
This picture is the first example of many in which she plays with vulnerability in her innocent expression and shoulder’s slouching inward, however it also has a cool ex-ray effect, helping to highten the idea of unwarranted exposure. Notice that the light blue of her hair and the blue tint of the photo matches the coloring of an ex-ray, and the structural pattern on her shirt is evocative of a skeleton or vertebrae.
Here she plays with our views of femininity, taking a very stereotypically feminine stance that we often see among female models, with the big jacket collar pulled over the mouth, but she wears more of a gender neutral jacket with the sporty buttons and elastic ties.
Han uses the varsity jacket, (a piece I also wrote about here) but shows herself standing outside on a grey day, looking melancholic at the ground. The varsity jacket can only evoke high school age memories of “fitting in,” yet Han seems inward in this picture, and to some degree lonely. Her unconventional hair style also shows that she’s clearly trying to set herself apart from the crowd. All these aspects bring us through the contrast between fitting in and lonliness.
The cardigan over v-neck style is a popular metro skinny-boy look; but the necklaces we tend to in this context are rosary necklaces, not because the wearer is religious, but because aspects of American Christianity have bled into the mainstream so much that jewelry with cross symbolosism has become really popular. For Han to choose a necklace with an Asian toy is to put her own stamp on a mainstream look and ask us to explore a tug between Asian and American cultures.
Another example of the same necklace, with a metro look.