Monday, May 10, 2010

Speaking of... UPDATED

What do we think of this image (scroll down) of Elena Kagan? Her sense of smell would have to be excellent if that in any way resembled her appearance.


Which is worse, to play up the nose in a sketch of a Jew without a particularly prominent schnozz, or to emphasize the masculinity of a woman who absolutely looks like a woman but who's rumored to be a lesbian? (Tangentially via.)


Matt said...

Yes, that's...odd... especially as Kagan doesn't have an especially prominent nose. (I hadn't remembered her having one, so checked photos. When she was much younger and her face thinner, her nose was more prominent, but I rather suspect her college graduation photos were not the model.) See here for a clear example:

I know that caricature plays off of exaggerating features, but it is odd to so strongly exaggerate one that's not really prominent, but fits with certain stereotypes.

Phoebe Maltz Bovy said...


It's fairly common for caricatures to exaggerate not the features of an individual, but the features classically associated with that individual's ethnic group. And it's offensive every time, both to members of a given ethnicity and to the spirit of the endeavor, which is about making a particular person extra-recognizable.