Breaking News: Model’s Metro-Link Ride Requires 5 Changes of Clothes

August 13, 2007 at 1:15 am | Posted in Editorial, Gabe Bullard, Media, Rants | 13 Comments


Look at this.

This girl is riding the Metro-Link. She’s wearing a lot of makeup. She also looks really confused.

Then again, I’d be confused too if my light rail commute involved blurriness and six outfits.

Sure, it’s great that they decided to feature the Metro-Link, but (no offense to her as a person) this model looks like a county resident who repeatedly expresses extreme fear or disinterest in visiting any part of the city that isn’t Washington Avenue or the Central West End.

As for the photos themselves, while I don’t expect gallery quality from a local rag I would appreciate it if photographers went for creative composition and stopped to reshoot blurry photos. If this was an aesthetic choice, I’m seriously missing something. Unless, of course, that choice was to make the spread look like a college senior’s Facebook album. (Was this one taken with a camera-phone?)

Maybe the pictures would be less confusing if we knew what the model was thinking. Here are my thoughts:
Those thieves took everything, even the bottom of my dress.
Does anyone realize there are poor people down there?
There are poor people HERE too!
Look at my crotch!
I don’t care what that sign says, I’m not giving this seat to any handicapped person.
Seriously, look at my crotch. I don’t think you were paying enough attention before.

I’m neither fashionable nor a woman, but I find these pictures degrading. Especially the last one. Is this what’s sexy and fashionable in St. Louis? What message does this send to any females seriously trying to make it in the city. That they should wear a jacket without a shirt?

As much as I’m in favor of local print media, why do valuable or interesting publications like The Arch City Chronicle go under while Alive Magazine stays afloat?



  1. I’m not a regular reader of Alive, but this fashion spread doesn’t seem any more or less impractical or degrading than other fashion photography featured in typical publications. I don’t find these particular looks that appealing, but nor do I find them offensive. Fashion photography tends to portray the extreme, and woman with sense seem to use it as inspiration, adapting the ideas to their lifestyles. I don’t usually wear black-tie on an excursion to the railroad tracks or to tour an abandoned warehouse, but that seems to happen frequently in fashion-photo-land.

    What I don’t understand is this idea that keeps coming up that a “city girl” is supposed to look a certain way and a “county girl” is supposed to look a certain way. I get the stereotypes. I used to live in U City, then Maplewood, and now I live in the county. I don’t particularly like living in the county, and I hope to move into the city soon, but it’s not my total identity. It doesn’t influence the clothing I wear. Actually, the large amount of time I spend in the city, often in “dangerous” areas, probably has a slight influence. I’ve been working in midtown, grand center, and downtown since I moved into St. Louis in 2000. I go almost anywhere in the metro area without much fear, despite the discouragement of many people I know. And sure, I try to be smart and practical. For example, I might carry my laptop in a nondescript canvas bag rather than in my leather logo-emblazoned briefcase. I wear shoes I can walk in. I wouldn’t be caught dead in those shorts, or wearing some of the other things in this fashion spread. I don’t sit in those poses on street corners. However, for the most part, I tend to go about my business in the city just the same, regardless of whether I’m wearing men’s pants and work boots or a fashionable dress and heels. And I believe that should be the idea, or at least the goal. I think that, even though as I’ve said I wouldn’t wear most of these clothes you’re referring to, making the assumption that a woman wouldn’t be interested in spending time in certain areas or using public transportation simply based on the clothing she wears or the amount of make-up she has on is, well, somewhat degrading. Besides, my red patent leather stilettos make almost as effective of a weapon as my crescent wrench does.

  2. dear amy,
    you make some pretty valid points, except we should say that we think it’s great that you’re not afraid of being yourself and being different. We also think it’s a great that people int he county want to spend more time in the city, and using public transport.
    What is going on here is a little satire of Alive magazine (which is, mostly terrible). The photography work in this spread shows a lac of digression, one that does not contribute editorially to self-empowerment, positive ethos you are expressing. There is instead little thought in the composition and compilation of fashion photos, in fact they remind me of a facebook photo colection with their out of focus shots and dutch tilts. But what do I know, I only have 15 credit hours in photojournalism and nothing to show for it.
    For what it’s worth, I’m a county transplant myself, and know the kinds of conversations you must have every day. However, I’ll get behind Gabe on that CWE/Washington Ave joke. Hell, some people stare blankly at me when I tell them downtown is safe, much less where i live in dutchtown. (more blank stares upon explaining the difference from block to block)
    Please do not mistake our satirical post on Alive magazine for an insult to the kind of people like yourself who make things happen in this crazy place we call home. We’re sorry if you feel we have snubbed professionals like yourself, except to say that 6 outfits in one day shows a bit of misogyny towards the modern working woman and a poor conception of professional photojournalism.

  3. If I have offended you, I apologize. I think (and you imply) you are the exception to the rule for general metro link riders. I’ve been riding the metro pretty frequently for years now and I’ve never seen a fashionista aboard. It would be great if I did though. It would be wonderful if the city had a lifestyle or public transportation system that appealed to people like that.

    The fact is, I wrote this post hoping to poke fun at magazine that – despite its claims – does not represent more than a narrow niche St. Louis lifestyle. Also, I wanted to illustrate the genral sloppiness of a magazine that could and should be so much better.

    Forgive me for hoping that a glossy fashion magazine could better represent our great working class city. Should we follow their example and pretend to be things we’re not? Should we try to embrace what everyone else is doing?

    As far as the city/county thing goes; I made a generalization based on experience, class and econmics.

    This was written with laughs in mind, but it’s hard to fiind only humor in the image of a young woman, staring emotionlessly at a camera with her legs spread in a public space.

  4. You didn’t offend me. And I did catch a satirical intent, although it probably would have been more obvious if I payed more attention to Alive. (And for the record, I don’t know a thing about photography.) I just wanted to comment because although I understand that it’s meant as humorous, I don’t think that people who don’t fit into these stereotypes speak up enough in a practical, constructive way.

    Apologies if my response implied I was taking you too seriously. (I did laugh, promise.)

  5. I was just disappointed that the blog story wasn’t about the guy on the (ALIVE St. Louis) cover pictured. Could you find out who styles his hair? Love that ‘do!

  6. this is addressed to the amy van donsel…

    and yes….i am her jilted lover

    my question is this

    what do you wear at wesly’s pool

    the best swinger fashions…what ???

    crotchless this or you offended me that

    the term fashion is for people who care about schtuff… like other people

    not what belt they wear… … well… spank yourself
    cause i sure the hell have had it with your little game of push and pull… you are a complete dolt… but your girraffe neck works for me…

    you can act however you intend to toward people…

    just do not pretend to care or say i love you… the fashion loved by you is pain and suffering…

    do not drape me in your garmet…your friends and you will die early from smoking and drinking…

    and your sexual mistakes

    but at least it will be in nice clothes…..huhh

    good luck with that… ohhh…and his car is a total piece of crap… of course… so is mine

  7. Spanking myself is fun, actually, but I’m getting hot doing it in this fashionable, flaw disguising crotchless turtleneck. I need a drink. And a cigarette.

  8. Before I come in and play grown-up for you two, let me ask…What the hell are you talking about?

  9. I sent an email to Matthew explaining the situation. I couldn’t locate other contact info. If you’ll point me in the right direction, or send your email address to I’ll clear things up.

  10. and zfrog4@gmail will clear it up on this end…

    i hope…they might not make a pill or shot that will ever though… it is a shame… it is nice to have a slave…(in the bsdm fashion style)… but… another shall appear and she will be cleaned by me personally before she gets in…. notate the words swingers/hookers/and what they call fashion

    or just go get some for yourselves… she drinks red wine and likes to wear a thumb up her ass…….

    my advice….finger cot

    it is the rage in all the little pink groups

    and since i seem to be freely enjoying my speech

    come and get the truth before you make the same …”fashion mistake”…i did

  11. […] Louis gets the credit it deserves for it’s achievements downtown.  When we’re not busy poking fun at local publications, we’ll actually give them props for making things happen.  There are a ton of shows (read: […]

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  13. I read your comments with amusement…you almost had it right but instead of the county,I’m from the country…yee haw! I’ve been all over the world,walked the shows in NY,rode the metro in Paris and worked with some of the best photographers. So riding the Metro Link was no big challenge.
    I didn’t have the final say on what pictures were published and I’m sorry they weren’t to your liking….but I must say I enjoyed working with Rick and he seemed satisfied with the results.

    …and by the way my usual attire is a teeshirt,jeans and a pair of kick ass cowboy boots.

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