Eating chocolate bars encourages sexism?

There’s a new ad for Snickers bars in Australia.

It shows workmen on an inner city building site catcalling women passersby. But instead of the expected sexist remarks, the men call out encouraging – one might even say feminist – messages.

“Oi, that colour really works on you. Have a productive day” one shouts.  Another says “a woman’s place is wherever she chooses.”

Apparently, while the “tradies” were actors – or at least in on the stunt – the passersby, and their reactions, were spontaneous and genuine.

The  big reveal at the end is of course the Snickers tag-line “You’re not you when you’re hungry.”

Part of me found the ad funny – especially the reaction of the women on the receiving end of some very unexpected compliments. And part of me thought, “well, it does highlight sexism.”

But in the end I found myself slightly confused.

The implication seems to be that without Snickers bars, workmen are not just charming and complimentary towards women, but a virtual agit-prop feminist flashmob.

Yes please, I’ll have more of that!

As an ad designed to sell Snickers bars, it seems to suggest that boorish sexism is normal and somehow ok. But perhaps there is a deeper, more subversive reading:

Consuming 250 calories of milk chocolate (sugar, cocoa butter, chocolate, skim milk, lactose, milkfat, soy lecithin, artificial flavor), peanuts, corn syrup, sugar, milkfat, skim milk, partially hydrogenated soybean oil, lactose, salt, egg whites, chocolate, artificial flavor – which may contain almonds and does contain 12 grams of fat,  27 grams of sugars and 120mg of sodium facilitates sexist behaviour.

Remove that from your diet and you’ll be a nicer person.






Now that introverted is the new black …


Introverted, Intuitive, Thinking and Judging: this is apparently my Myers-Briggs personality type, although I’m about 50:50 on Thinking. Thank you CPP for the cool graphic.

Having spent years feeling guilty, inadequate, and generally crap that I:

a) don’t particularly enjoy a lot of social occasions and want to leave early or not go at all,

b) find an awful lot of people loud, vacuous  and annoying, and

c) adore my own company …

… it is something of a relief to find that I’m not misanthropic – just an introvert.

To judge by all the feature articles in various media lately (Do Introverts Make Better LeadersIntrovert or Extrovert: What Style is More Likely to Get You a Big Promotion At Work?, Why the World Needs Introverts, 6 Dos and Don’ts for Dating an Introvert) introversion has arrived, it’s cool … it’s the new black.

We introverts should celebrate the fact that we now so popular … quietly, singly, and in the privacy of our own homes.

INTJ stress-head. Thanks to CPP for this cool graphic too.

INTJ stress-head. Thanks to CPP for this cool graphic too.

Yes to all of the above … a reminder why I like being self-employed and working from home.

Thank you to Chris at 61 Musings for getting me thinking about introversion and introducing me to these graphics – especially my stress-head.




Wordless Wednesday: in an autumn mood

Mainly dull with patches of colour. A metaphor for today? Photo: Su Leslie, 2014

Mainly dull with patches of colour. A metaphor for today? Photo: Su Leslie, 2014

After weeks of mainly glorious sunshine, we’re experiencing a few more overcast and cooler days.

Ryuchi Sakamoto’s Energy Flow perfectly captures how I feel today.

Here are some other Wordless Wednesdays I like:

wordless (just a bit after) wednesday



Reflection and distortion: too close to call

sunglasses painted

Sunglasses stall, Takapuna Market. Photo: Su Leslie, 2013. Edited with Pixlr Express.

Does it make sense to talk about reality, when we see ourselves mainly in reflection? And if we take away the notion of real – then distortion becomes a bit redundant too. I liked this photo, but thought I’d edit it to make it “less real” for this challenge. A statement about what how we see the world, or just a bit of fun?

I also like this song by Little Man Tate, variously called ‘Reflection in his Sunglasses’ and ‘Audrey Hepburn.’

He thought they fell in love
He thought they shared a moment
He thought she was looking deep into his eyes
Right into his very soul
But she was just checking her hair in the reflection of his sunglasses

— Little Man Tate ‘Reflection in his Sunglasses’

This post was written for the Daily Post Weekly Photo Challenge. Here are some others on the subject that I enjoyed:

weekly photo challenge: reflections

Weekly Photo Challenge: Reflections

Weekly Photo Challenge: Reflection

Weekly Photo Challenge: Reflections

WPC – Reflections of Rock (3)

Black and white: theft or focus?

Ramon Robertson, 'Void' 2014. Photo: Su Leslie 2014.

Ramon Robertson, ‘Void’ 2014. Photo: Su Leslie 2014.

Auckland is enjoying a gloriously sunny week, and yesterday I finally managed to visit the Harbourview Sculpture Trail in Te Atatu. I have an interest in sculpture as an art form, (Travel Theme: Sculpture) and a particular interest in the Te Atatu event as it is one of several in Auckland that have sprung up in response to the success of NZ Sculpture OnShore – the first outdoor sculpture exhibition in Auckland, and an event with which I’ve become very involved.

Because of the weather, my photos from yesterday are wildly colourful, so it has been interesting to strip away the colour and focus instead on the forms of the sculptures themselves.

Ramon Robertson is a Scottish artist now resident in New Zealand. His work ‘Void’ consists of a series of figures atop a tall wooden structure – contemplating their existence, or staring into the void.

Ramon Robertson, 'The Void', 2014. Photo: Su Leslie 2014.

Ramon Robertson, ‘The Void’, 2014. Photo: Su Leslie 2014.

Figures are also central to Anton Forde‘s ‘Te Atatu Revisited’ –  a group of carved kuia (elderly Maori women).

Anton Forde, 'Te Atatu Revisited', 2014. Photo; Su Leslie 2014

Anton Forde, ‘Te Atatu Revisited’, 2014. Photo; Su Leslie 2014

The Kuia are carved from gorgeous red-brown hardwood, so the photographic challenge was to still capture something of the strength and wisdom of the women in whose hands the well-being of families and communities resides. I’ve relied on emphasizing the grain of the wood – distinct against the unfocused background – to suggest the age-lines and maturity of the figures.

Plant forms provide the inspiration for much of the work at Harbourview. Juliette Laird’s ‘Transplantation’ consists of a grove of “trees” with colourful knitted leaves and wound wool branches. These remind us of a time – not so long ago – when West Auckland was home to many orchards and vineyards, planted by European settlers in the nineteenth and early twentieth centuries. Would these introduced plants have seemed as ‘alien’ to the environment then as their knitted counterparts do now?

Juliette Laird, 'Transplantations', 2014. Photo: Su Leslie 2014

Detail: Juliette Laird, ‘Transplantation’, 2014. Photo: Su Leslie 2014

Juliette Laird, 'Transplantations', 2014. Photo: Su Leslie 2014

Juliette Laird, ‘Transplantation’, 2014. Photo: Su Leslie 2014

Carol Robinson created a series of ceramic pods on steel poles  which she “planted” in a pond to sway gently and sit beautifully amongst the “real” plants. The colour palette of the pods is mainly black and white, but with  blue and red centres. Without that burst of colour, I’ve had to rely on trying to emphasise the texture of the design.


Carol Robinson, ‘Pods’, 2014. Photo: Su Leslie, 2014.

‘On Angels’ Wings’ by the Expressive Art Group, is the one piece I think actually works better in black and white. When I de-saturated the shot, it revealed the bright white hands which make up the wings, with much greater clarity than I’d seen in the colour original.

hand wings b&w

Expressive Art Group, ‘On Angels’ Wings’, 2014. Photo: Su Leslie 2014

This post was written for Sally’s Black & White Challenge at Lens and Pens by Sally. I’ve noticed that I seem to gravitate towards images of art for this particular theme. I think for me that is the challenge – to somehow retain and convey the beauty of the art even as I’m taking away a part of it.

Art is a deliberate act; a construction of beauty and meaning and power in which the colours chosen by the artist – and provided by the setting  – are an integral part of experiencing the work. Does art lose it’s power when stripped of this component? I suppose one could make the same argument about photographs themselves -particularly photos of three dimensional art.

And maybe that is the point of photography; by taking away some elements the photographer is inviting us to contemplate others.

Have I achieved that with any of my images? You judge.

Images shot on iPhone4 and edited with Pixlr Express.

Here are some black and white images from the challenge that I I’ve enjoyed:

iPhone Monday: 3-17-14

Horse of a Different Color (Phoneography Challenge)