At Jack Shainman Gallery: 100 modified advertising images A Century of White Women by Hank Willis Thomas One image to represent each year, starting in 1915. A limited representation But edifying nonetheless. A nested set of lenses framed by power Meant to inspire desire Women were the subject And The object But an object perpetuating Objectification Of colored servants Exotic locales Phalluses And children. Dolls and toys to play with. The gallery offered its usual gallerinas A front desk of cliquish white women Guarding 100 images Of themselves? If nothing else It was a corrective for me. Periodically (This year it coincided with springtime appearance fretting I gave up candy until I finished reading the springtime issue of vogue Seduced by a glamourous black tennis player On the cover of the most elitist fashion magazine) I get lazy about my own definition of femininity And spend too much time gazing Glazing Glorifying My personal flavor of White Woman. I'll call her the New York White Woman. Blonded Innocent but cosmopolitan Or, if not innocent, at least sheltered Or at least overflowing with a performed naïveté Sometimes poor But only temporarily so Always privileged Always desired by multitudes Showered with accolades and invitations An insider even when she's an outsider Felicity, Carrie, Serena Earnest, impulsive, kooky, Falsely bohemian Really on the track to the urban version of the American dream 2.5 children, husband, and dog In an airy, sophisticated downtown loft MILFy Unrapeable So fuckable Unmurderable (A cadre of white men are on revenge standby) Always making mistakes Always forgiven by all Always friends with other young white women And the occasional token colored person Highly educated based on a diet of attractive but unmarketable skills Interior design Beauty Nutrition Fitness Self-care Self-indulgence Wellness Writing essays about any and all of the above. Do I want to be this white woman? Not really. I come from tiger parents Who wanted me to be a financial Titan and pillar King and queen So that's the mantle I squirm under. That's the unhealthy criteria By which I still subconsciously Harshly Judge myself Nevertheless I deeply envy her Her comfort with her own confectionary appeal Her decorative declaration that She Has It All.