Kumi posted a blog entry where she talks about not viewing fetish and alt-modeling as related at all. I both agree and don’t. I guess in theory, I disagree, but, in practice, what she observes is often dead-on how this currently goes in the real world. I wanted to share a quick thought of mine on the topic and also direct folks to what she wrote: Alt- vs. Fetish
I discussed this with Michelle Olley years ago, when she was at Skin Two, and we were both trying to promote having models with unusual haircuts and tattoos and dramatic makeup and such in fetish areas. And meeting with resistance. Looking punk or goth-industrial or whatever and showing up to the BDSM party was not always the way to elicit the friendliest welcome in those days. The handcuffs on my leather jacket at the time were fully functional and one of the reasons I founded Blue Blood was precisely to celebrate an aesthetic which resonated with me sexually. 17 years later, I am less impressed by a daring hairstyle than I once was, partly because it takes less courage to rock one in a post-internet world, but I’m still enough of a fetishist there that I will look at two people with the same basic level of appeal and think the one with the mohawk is way hotter.
Something which troubles me deeply is that a lot of people have reinterpreted alt to be where girls (not women) who do not make the grade can put on wigs and LARP like they are modeling. These are generally girls who do not want to have to develop their minds or even their cooking skills, but they do not want to hit the gym either. So they call themselves altmodels and you are supposed to like them for their looks alone, without requiring them to look good.
Certain corporate players in the marketplace have aggressively attempted to de-sexualize alt. But a few more loathsome humans in the overall society doesn’t make liking music and subculture-influenced looks not a fetish.