People watching

This guy has taken a bunch of photos of people from different venues like festivals and street fairs. Incredibly bad hair, bad make up, bad clothes, people with bad hair and smoking …it’s all there. People at their worst. I can’t seem to pull myself away from it. It’s like watching a car wreck in slow motion, over and over and over and over again. It feels voyeuristic, like I shouldn’t be staring; am I a bad person?

Face facts, these are our customers. Via Boing Boing.

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12 comments

  1. earth says:

    Haaha! Thanks for all the link love… seems a few of you are coming over to find some fashion tips!
    I knew there was a use for these after all.
    One thing to keep in mind tho as i read your post… these folks, believe it or not, are trying their hardest to look their best. And i guess that’s one of the reasons i love photographing them as much as i do… From what i have observed, for many this is the event they look forward to most every year. Many of them have been coming to any given fair for most of their lives. Those are the ones i look for and try my best to capture. Anyhoo, hope you all are enjoying em as much as i do.
    earth

  2. moss says:

    Bad person? You are very judgemental. Not everyone has the benefit of your middle class life, lifestyle, and education.

  3. Kathleen says:

    Actually Marjorie, you assume too much. I grew up neither middle class nor educated. If anything -I think you nailed it for me- I’m attracted to the photos because they represent my background, what I came from, what I know. Nobody in my family graduated from high school much less college. My aspiration of a college education was sneered at. I’m the black sheep of my family. Middle class would have been several steps up. Even aspiring to be a skilled blue-collar tradesman (pattern maker) was interpreted as trying to put on airs.

  4. moss says:

    Maybe I do assume. I feel sorry for those people and maybe that’s not any less condescending but I do know that it is more expensive to dress well and eat well than to dress poorly and eat poorly.

  5. earth says:

    A few points:

    The people in my photographs are, 99% of the time, folks i would consider to be in control of their destiny. Meaning, they aren’t homeless or mentally/physically disabled. These are humans who make conscious decisions about their appearance, eating habits, and overall physical presence. Who i choose to photograph are those whose outward manifestations tend to be most obvious.

    Why feel sorry for them?

    Lest we not forget, the humans in my photographs are the majority.
    They are not the abnormal ones… we are.

  6. Kathleen says:

    I do know that it is more expensive to dress well and eat well than to dress poorly and eat poorly.

    I’m not trying to be argumentative but I don’t agree. As someone who’s spent a lot of time being poor, being poor doesn’t mean you’re destined to eat poorly, be unnattractive or to be dirty. Good food -really good for you food- is very inexpensive. Eating a vegetarian diet of whole grains, cooking everything from scratch and no processed foods is the least expensive way to eat. We feed 3 people (one teenager) on less than $200 a month. Fresh beans are 39 cents a pound. Corn is cheap. It’s junk food that costs money. The more sugar and crap it is, the more it costs. I’ve spent plenty of time poor, living under the poverty level but we always ate well. Compared to everything else, good food has become even less costly, not more so. [climbs down from vegetarian soapbox]

    About it costing money to look good, most of these people were unattractive because they spent money to make themselves look bad; if they’d done nothing they would have looked better and saved money. For example, pink hair dye costs more than leaving it alone so it’s not being poor that made that person unattractive. Tattoos cost money. Bad dye jobs, overplucked brows, long fake fingernails, it cost money to look that way. If they’d left themselves alone they would have looked better and saved money so it’s not true that being poor means you have to look ugly either. I was poor but I wasn’t trash. I didn’t spend my money on bad fattening food and cheap cosmetics.

    And I’ll let the whole dressing thing go. I’ve been buying my clothes at the thrift store for so many years I almost forget you can buy them new.

  7. Mary says:

    You said “face it – these are our customers.” I didn’t look at too many shots but I found myself wondering if they were anybody’s customers.

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