This isn't a contest, but I'd like to discuss my favorite photo of this year's group of G20 protestors in Toronto. Here it is:
Click the picture for the larger version. Go ahead, you know you want to.
I realize this is a conservative website but let's face it, if we have to look at another gallery of photographs of leftwing/anarchist protestors, we might as well look at a couple of nice ones every now and again, and give some credit where credit is due: this photo was taken by Simon Hayter/Getty Images (who had an impeccable eye, and did a wonderful job with composition) and was originally published online in the National Post at the following URL: www.nationalpost.com/multimedia/photos/gallery/index.html...
Apart from the eye candy factor, there are a few other reasons why this is my favorite G20 protest photograph. When you really break this shot (and particularly its subject matter) down carefully and move beyond the obviously deeply moving tableau that seems to be sitting out there so close that you could just touch it...the first thing that comes to mind is:
"Does she know what she's protesting against?"
Consider a few things:
1) She appears to be a very wholesome, well-nourished girl with almost flawless skin and breasts that basically give the lens coating a hard time staying on there from all the heat radiating off them. It would have been difficult indeed for her to reach this phase of perfectly jaw-dropping development without good food, clean water, a robust and efficient and professional medical infrastructure, vaccinations, and professionals who helped to bring her into this world, and educate her until she reached the point that she could so fulsomely protest against evil corporations, globalization, the capitalist hegemony, the Man, or....what was that? Say that again, slowly this time, and breathe a little deeper...
2) Before she could reach puberty, unless she's superhuman (which this photo provides some evidence she might just be), I'm sure she's taken ill at one time or another, and was treated with some kind of antibiotic or other pharmaceuticals that were produced by a pharmaceutical company somewhere -- packaged and shipped, etc., etc., -- and also prescribed by a doctor and purchased through a pharmacy using a prescription that was probably written on a piece of paper with an ink pen, filled by a technician or a pharmacist who was educated and licensed, who used a cash register and probably a computer. Plus a lot of other things I don't mention. Several times throughout the course of her young life, I would guess this happened, possibly dozens. And let us all thank the Lord in heaven that each and every one of those things occurred, and the medicines worked as they were prescribed, so that she could reach puberty and her mammary glands could develop to the unbelievably tantalizing level we see right over there. Practically popping out there, indeed. Straining the credulity of her dress beyond all comprehension.
3) She doesn't appear to have any really nasty scars, self-inflicted or otherwise, at least not on the parts of her that we can see (and really, who needs any others?). So evidently wherever she lived for most of her young life, she's had fairly good and professional police protection by people who were armed with well-engineered and reliable weapons with which they could protect and defend her, and who worked within a framework designed to protect her life, her really mouth-watering tangible, corporeal assets, and her freedom to walk just about wherever she damn well pleases, wearing whatever the heck she wants, in comfort and style. And that doesn't even speak to the people who have died to defend her right to say whatever she wants using all of them, including her mind, practically any time she wants us to look at them or think about them. Whew.
4) She appears to be wearing red nail polish. Getting nail polish to adhere to her fingernails requires not just chemical engineering but all kinds of chemical manufacturing, shipping, product testing, marketing, market research, and everything else that inheres in the production of safe and beautiful cosmetics to paint on her nails that you can just see tracing little circles around.... ahem.
5) If you shift your gaze from the center of composition in this photograph and move toward her lithe and graceful neckline and delicate shoulders, you'll notice that she's wearing what appears to be a combination of a "little black dress" spaghetti strap number, possibly over a swimsuit of some sort. The stitching and material of both appear to be of high quality, and both were undoubtedly made with modern textiles and stitched using machines that could make sure that every beautiful little stitch wouldn't rub or chafe against all her amazing expanses of mind-blowingly silken skin. It's hard to imagine a dress fitting much better than this, which of course required the years of experience in dressmaking for a variety of sizes and figures that only the modern textile industry can possibly provide. And, despite all of those wonderful qualities it looks as though you could just run your hands across all that material and relish their beautiful, seamless, creamy smoothness. Furthermore, the fabric doesn't appear to stain, which means the dyes and colorants were manufactured properly. Just thinking about how that dress stretches tautly and yet falls across the rest of her figure as a result of its quality manufacturing and gorgeously articulated style just makes you want her never to take it off. Or maybe...
6) That handbag she's carrying appears to have a strap with buckles made of leather and dyed and tanned using all of the techniques needed to give it an eye-popping color that won't chip off or flake or rub off on her skin, all the while being durable and present a gorgeous contrast to the inky black little number she's accessorizing it with. Hooray! for whoever designed and manufactured that handbag, not to mention all the people who supplied the leather and all the rest of the production techniques and machinery to produce it so that she could drape it so provocatively from her shoulder.
7) I'm sure this beautiful young woman wanted to send a powerful message of protest against global capitalism and industrial might in Toronto, and let's all admit that she chose the perfect medium upon which to trace her message of dissent: the very skin of her chest. I can almost imagine her taking a felt-tipped marker or perhaps an ink brush and gently but lovingly tracing the lettering for her protest message, in complete assurance that once the day's hot and heavy events had ended and she was back home safe, she could just get in the shower and wash that ink right off, using bath products that foam up beautifully and would both caress and moisturize her skin. So that later that evening it would appear completely unblemished, without any sorts of permanent marking or other defilement that might be awkward throughout the rest of her evening.
...you get the idea, and there are a lot more. What, precisely, is this young woman protesting there at the G20? It certainly can't be all of the things that allowed this image to be taken, including the camera the photographer used to produce the image, or the computer you are viewing it on, or the electricity that is being supplied to allow you to gaze and reflect upon it.
Isn't that right? Isn't the protest really about smashing the international capitalist / globalist / whateverist conspiracy that has enabled practically every element of this photograph, including the subject herself (and her really amazing breasts) to present themselves exactly as they have here?
I can't think of a more appropriate message, personally. Hooray!