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I think I may have got a bit side tracked with the heroin chic, but it was vital in understanding the relationship between drugs and fashion, and youth culture to some extent. The style definitely has a dark aspect, which proves to be quite appealing. The direct connectedness between real life youth culture and what was presented by those involved with heroin chic increases the ability to relate with the imagery that perhaps made the style that much more alluring and recognizable. It is interesting to think that the lies involved with retouched and fake imagery seem safer than presenting the truth which is demonized and essentially glamorizing real life? One may argue that we shouldn’t take the images that we see as true, but if there is some element in a dirty glamorous photo that one can relate with, it begins to blur the line between true and false, real and fake.

In Tuesday 23rd Approaches to Media class, we looked at Jean Baudrillard and his definitions of reality as a western construct, and the loss of reality from being saturated by media. You could argue from this, is heroin chic influencing drug abuse or vice versa. Either which way, the consequence of drugs is a issue far larger than whether or not Day is glamorizing drug taking. There must be factors that run deeper that would lead someone into a life style depicted in works like ‘The Ballard of Sexual Dependency” or “Tulsa” more than the images themselves. After all, looking at imagery of drugs is less of a pull that if someone was to be physically surrounded by them.

I have also learnt from this diversion, how heroin chic isn’t a unique British style, nor fixed to a certain decade. It has deep associations with youth culture, as Clark explored, teenage angst, and was present in the U.S. I would say from this that it would be hard to argue Day as the pioneer of this style, since it hard been done, maybe not in the same way, but similar enough from as far back as the 60s to the 90s in which Day worked.

I also am beginning to challenge the idea of anti-glamour, as heroin chic and Georgina, Brixton constitute a new type of glamour, dirty glamour. It is ever present with musicians famed by their illicit acts and drug association as if and identity, like Amy Winehouse.

Amy Winehouse by Terry Richardson

I think I need to look at finishing my research, and finally post my drafts applying the research methods and media analysis learnt to the Georgina, Brixton photo.


Amy Winehouse by Terry Richardson [online image] available from


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