Photo Analysis of Simone de Beauvoir

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A picture of Simone de Beauvoir

It is almost an Androgenos picture of her. Her hair cut is very short, almost that of a man’s. Her jacket is manly, her makeup is very minimal.

Her facial expression is brave, straight, looking from a distance, uninvolved, completely neutral, there and not there. women were not used to posing for the camera this way; not trying to look nice.

But the main players here are her hands, very curious they are… one hand holding the other, as though it is wounded, as though she is a girl rushing to her mother with a wounded, bloody hand, asking for help. The ‘wounded hand’ is held in a passive receptive, almost pleading gesture. The holding hand (the lower, left hand) is the responsible, adult hand, while the other (right hand) is the childish, helpless hand. There is a duality in her, two aspects, the helpless aspect, and the adult, responsible one, and both existing in an image of a liberated, feminist woman. 

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