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Say what you will about The Lake and Stars, they sure know how to get people talking.

As we reported yesterday, the New York lingerie label’s most recent photoshoot, featuring a mother-daughter model duo, has sparked a growing controversy discussion about the appropriateness of the images, and the brand’s motives in using them.

Bloggers, journalists and hundreds of anonymous website commenters have weighed in on the subject, often with a visceral, deeply hostile response to both the models and The Lake and Stars. More thoughtful observers attempt to understand the photos and their context, but the widespread consensus seems to be that the images make people very uncomfortable. The word “creepy” is used a lot.

I’m not sure this is what they intended when they set out to “start a conversation” about family politics and intergenerational relationships, but then, to re-coin a phrase, no one ever went broke underestimating the tastes of internet lurkers.

For the record, we thought these polarizing photos were haunting, curious, and very, very smart. Now here’s a selection of viewpoints from other people, both editorial writers and website commenters.

Adrants.com (Editorial)
“Is there really a need to start a dialog about mothers and daughters hanging out together while wearing lingerie? This is yet another attempt by a fashion brand to “shock” and “surprise.””

UK Daily Mail (Public Comments)
“I certainly wouldn’t pose with my mother like that, no matter how good we look.”

“Next up, dads and sons in their undies. Gross.”

“They are both very beautiful, especially the daughter.”

“Extremely beautiful photographs of two extremely attractive women. Just why would anybody find these objectionable? There is nothing suggestive about them unless you wish to see perversion and evil in every situation.”

“I fail to see anything provocative in these pictures. I think they both look very beautiful and have gorgeous bodies.”

“Agreed the poses look a bit wooden and stilted, but apart from that I can’t see a reason for all the negative comments. If this mother and daughter were wearing bikinis on a beach no one would turn a hair. Except for the admiring looks of course!”

“It disgusts me to the very core of my being. What a terrible thing to do!!”

“Nothing wrong with this. What is more natural than photos of a mother and her daughter? No different if than if they were wearing swimsuits. A complete non-story.”

“Wrong on just about every level. Mothers should be setting standards for their children, and those should include modesty.”

Babble.com (Editorial)
“There are a lot of unanswered questions out there. And that’s just because they’re too trivial, stupid or inane to be asked in the first place. This is among them.”

Babble.com (Public Comments)
“They actually looked drugged or half dead over seductive, loving or tender to me. That vacant glazed look is rather creepy.”

“I certainly cannot imagine dressing like that and posing with my mom, and I love her with all my heart. Just wouldn’t be comfortable like that with her. But that is just me.”

BusinessInsider.com (Editorial)
Headline: “The Lingerie Ad That’s Making Everyone Barf”

“The brand needs to do something to draw attention to itself, otherwise no one would know it existed. Mission accomplished!”

Mommyish.com (Editorial)
“I just want to turn my head away and pretend I never saw them in the first place.”

Scallywagandvagabond.com (Editorial)
“What’s controversial isn’t that these two women appear half naked in the ad together but how they actually appear together. Or to be succinct, how they relate to each other, which in this case borders on incense.”

Scallywagandvagabond.com (Public Comment)
“I think this is beautiful. People who are afraid of it or make it into something is is not are living in fear of their own deep buried unlocked fantasies – just like homophobes usually have some deep gay fantasy and/or hate gays because they’re scared they might get turned on or like it. Any sexually healthy person will see this as beautiful, captivating, and not sexually intended – but a nurturing mother who obviously has a healthy attitude toward art and comfort and security in her relationship with her daughter.”

BlissTree.com (Editorial)
“Yep, advertising has reached a new low. … There’s a reason we don’t see a lot of that: It’s demeaning to women and our bodies. And it’s just plain gross.”

Mizozo.com (Public Comment)
“Sorry, but I fail to see the controversy. If the daughter was 13, I would understand, but she is 19 …. More power to the ladies … great job.”

FellowshipofMinds.wordpress.com (Public Comment)
“Truly, there’s no end to human perversity.”

Huffington Post (Public Comments)
“I’m sorry, both women seem more like mannequins than people. There’s no life in these pictures.”

“Very creepy. Tuesday Addams meets Stepford wife.”

“This is not new. Just add them to the pile of pedophilia­ds we have seen over the years.”

“The daughter looks ghoulish and the whole concept is creepy.”

“Good lord. This is the creepiest thing I’ve ever seen. Neither is especially sexy, but together — lolling all over each other — they are just skin crawlingly creepy.”

“Just kind of dumb. A smart publicity move, though. Lots of people love dumb.”

“I love the photo shoot, they possess a dense energy, darkly beautiful.”

“If a man and a boy did the same shoot what would the reaction be?”

“The pictures are reminiscen­t of early 90s heroin chic. Not attractive­, beautiful, or original in any way. And they both seem to be unnaturall­y thin.”

Posted in The Lake and Stars

2 Responses to “‘It Borders on Incense!’ L&S Photos Provoke Some Strong Reactions”

  1. Panty Buns says:

    My first reaction is to ask myself why would anyone pay attention to anything other than the lingerie itself? The lingerie sets are too pretty to worry about whether or not the models are related. More diversity in lingerie modeling and in the fashion industry as a whole is greatly needed. Lingerie models are still disproportionately skinny young white women. I find it refreshing when age, gender, race and panty size are more diverse.

    As for the mother and daughter posing together, I think it’s wonderful that a mother and daughter are close like that. I would not be surprised if mothers who are haters have daughters that wouldn’t want to be anywhere near them. Here’s wishing everyone can attain the open-mindedness, closeness, and love for beautiful lingerie that these ads depict.

  2. Igor Pacemski says:

    I think its fabulous! I love their work and I can’t see a single offensive thing about it. Go girls, this is brilliant suff! xxx

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