Monday, February 1, 2010

Nuts and Bolts

If you haven't already noticed, I'm trying to doing some maintenance/archival work on this blog. At the top of the page you'll now see some links that are arranged into general categories. This is definitely a work in progress, but my hope is to have all that information up there to be as complete as possible. Of course this will take time because there is a lot to go through and I have to get all the image credits right. Throughout the years so many fans have taken the time and effort to document Freja's work and they absolutely deserved to be acknowledged. I don't think you know quite the effort that goes into making good scans until you attempt to scan something yourself.

Anyway, this long-term project has given me the opportunity to re-visit some of Freja's earlier work. It's been quite refreshing, yet sad at the same time. Refreshing in that it's been a pleasure to re-discover the reasons why Freja became my favorite model over three years ago. Sad in that I've also realized that the model she is now is so very different from the model I initially became a fan of.

This is the model that I miss. The one who had such a brightness in her eyes and liveliness in her face. The one who didn't seem so weathered by complacency and burdened by androgyny. I miss the Freja that used to walk down the runway seemingly thinking "Cool, you just want me to walk and you'll pay me for this?" instead of "I gotta uphold my too-cool for school rep and casually saunter down this thing." I miss the days when fans were drawn to her for her work and not just for her perceived sexuality or personality. And I know it's unfair of me to say these things and to think this way. It's unfair of me to want to capture Freja in a time-capsule and have her remain the perfect picture in my mind. But I just can't help it. How selfish of me, right? I should be happy that she's grown and developed her skill as a model. I should be happy that she's matured into an industry that accepts her despite her unconventionality.

But that's just it. She used to represent this rare honesty in fashion and modeling that I loved. It's what made her special and unique amongst all the other models. You got the sense that what you saw on the runway and in editorials was who she was in real life with no pretenses. She didn't bend her street style to fit in with the model-mold. She didn't care if she had visible tattoos or cut her hair against her agency's wishes. It's what she wanted to do and by god, she was going to do it, work be damned. Ironically enough, as Freja gets more work and becomes more visible and popular, she seems to be losing the very things that attracted me to her in the first place. I still love seeing new work from her, but the unbridled joy and spontaneity are gone. That unconventionality is gone, only to be replaced by conformity.

I thought that maybe writing all of this out and getting it off my chest would help me. Kind of like a therapeutic release. After all, it is my blog and it was created on the premise that I would share my thoughts and musings about Freja. Well, this is how I've been feeling lately, and I don't believe in censoring the bad and only focusing on the good. Therefore, I'm playing out my inner turmoil right here...lucky you if you've read this far, right? I know, you must be thinking that I'm a shitty fan. At least, I'm not the type of fan you would want to or think to run a fan blog. And how self-indulgent and petty of me to yammer away like this about stuff that isn't even a bit significant compared to the real turmoil going on in the world. How vain-glorious of me to criticize the only reason why you're reading my words in the first place...kind of like shooting myself in the foot. But with fashion week coming up I'm just trying to get back to that place where the sheer excitement of it all propelled and inspired me. So please bear with me for now.

Image Credits: via jelsoka @ tFS


Hi, I'm awkward said...

Well, people change you know. Nothing is meant to stay the same but I can understand your frustration I guess. I think that Freja is more of the person she wants to be now than when she was when she first started out (the "cheery" facade she put on seemed forced, she always talked about wanting to cut her hair). If you read her interviews she's always come across as a tomboy with a soft side. I think her evolution is quite natural and it appears that you see it as forced? Idk what I'm talking about, this is so incoherent. I hope you get what I'm saying. I think she's more in control of her career/image than ever before.

Anonymous said...

Idk to me she still has that special sparkle, albeit a little more edginess and turmoil than we are used to seeing from her. It's a rough industry for these young women,they are so vulnerable.

COCAMIA said...

I really love this post and your honesty! I totally know what you mean! It's sad but true, people change, grow, struggle. sometimes for the better or for worse. Lets hope its for the better...xx

Anonymous said...

Something changed about her early last year, I think she is going through a dark period in her life.

Laurianne said...

Personally i don't feel conformity in Freja's work.
She has changed, that's for sure, so everyone has to adapt (or not) but I appreciate who she is and What she does as much as before. And I agree with Hi, I'm Awkward about her being more in phase with who she is and and in control of her image.

SF said...

she was unique among all the babydolls and her 'too cool' demeanor has become common ground in the industry now but that's hardly her fault.i guess things change.

Anonymous said...

I really love reading your thoughts, they make me think harder.

As much as I love her all-black uniform, I wish she'd go back to the blue jeans and vest tops, they were cute.
I think we all want Freja's inner Chloe girl to come back, just for a change from the tough card she's been dealt.

Rrose Sélavy said...

Thanks for all the comments and perceptive thoughts guys!

I know that things inevitably change, but I guess I'm struck by the nature and degree of the change. Of course maybe this is all an exercise in futility because it's all very subjective. But to go from a punky teenager from Denmark to a New York living model who wears A Wang and carries Chanel is just a lot of change to happen this late in her career. I can understand it happening at the beginning when you're impressionable, but within the past year? It's just strange to me.

Also, she's been revealing herself more. Doing more substantive interviews, exposing more of her "personal" side with style stories, the upcoming Purple Naked ed, etc... That mysterious air is gone. I don't know if this is all forced or not, but to me it just seems a bit out of character. Of course, the "character" that I thought I knew could have been the forced one, and this is the real one. Who knows?

Maybe I just wanted to see if anyone else thought that she changed a lot too. Like, does she really want this? Is IMG pushing her? Quarter life crisis? Or just, like some of you suggest, the natural progression and evolution of things. I don't know and I don't think I'll ever find out.

Anonymous said...

I see where Rrose is coming from. I loved that fresh faced cutie with the mysterious eyes complete with dimple. She seemed different from the rest. There lay the appeal. Evolution is of course inevitable and so of course you have to roll with it. For the last 9 or so months I have noticed her weight loss. I commented on this in numerous forums. No matter how fabulous I think a person is i call out what i see. Some admirers continue to ignore/deny but I see she has looked gaunt about the face and lost the brightness in her eyes. I hope that she is ok. Truly. She deserves to be happy. Cause she seems like she's a total sweetheart.

Anonymous said...

I completely agree with you Rrose! it feels like she changed a lot. like she lost that special something that made her different from everybody else. and like you said this happening late in her career is weird.

and last anonymous poster, I can't believe her apparent weight lost is being ignored by her fans! well most of them.
I never thought I'd see the day when she makes the likes of Magda and Siri look big by comparison! that is a scary reality unfortunately

sofie said...

Wow, I feel exactly the same way! I'm from Denmark like Freja is, so I have followed her for a loooong time, actually almost from the very beginning of her career.. And I have the complete same feeling as you do! It is like she has lost her spirit and passion about her model work. As if now it is only a job for her, and something she needs to do.. And I think it is a pity! She used to be so cheerful and smiling, which really made her that special model..! I hope she finds her inner passion again sometime..

Keep up the good work with this blog, I love to be updated with Freja's doings :)

xxx Sofie

Anonymous said...

I suppose there is only so long you can be mysterious for.

Maybe she too has noticed that she has been typecast into the androgynous, secretive role, and so the Chanel bags and the more open personality are her reacting and trying to break out of her label. I can't imagine she wants to shoot boy-ish editorials for the rest of her career when she has such feminine facial features and such a broader talent.

Anonymous said...

do you have a girl crush on freja or what.

Rrose Sélavy said...

@Sara: I'm with you in that I'm happy she's not shooting androgynous stuff as much anymore. The change I'm talking about refers more to her relationship with modeling and the way she carries herself in general.

@anonymous poster above: lol, are you asking me? If so, then I guess I do, but not in the way that you probably think. I have a crush in the sense that I admire and respect her modeling oeuvre, accomplishments and what she stands for to her numerous fans. Isn't it kind of obvious since I did create this blog in the first place? :)

Laurianne said...

I think you overanalyze a little too much.
When she started her career she was a long hair 17 years old girl from Denmark. Now she's 22 and 5 years in this period of life can bring A LOT of changes.
Think about yourselves. Personally when I was 17 I was a rebellious but shy girl no one cared about. I was a real tomboy. And now, 22 years old, love fashion, self confident, short still a little tomboy and rebellious but in appearance I have changed a lot!
But I can understand that you are all kind of nostalgic, because the person you felt for a few years ago doesn't look that much like that the one you see now.
As for me, even if I liked the 'Old Freja' I really still like her now, because to my eyes her job is still amazing, because she still has great personality, because she's still Freja.
Older Freja but still Freja.

Anonymous said...

I love that Eurowoman cover. Divine

Rrose Sélavy said...

@Laurianne: I know I over-analyze too much. :) Of course changes are bound to happen, but like I said before, I'm just surprised at the suddenness and timing of it. You'd think that the majority of change would happen earlier in her career and not now. But then again, there could be so many external factors that I'm not privy to causing these changes that I perceive.

Anonymous said...

Rrose, This may sound like a silly question but considering your thoughts about Freja have changed recently, I would like to ask you whether you would still be interested in meeting her one day?

Rrose Sélavy said...

^Of course I would still like to meet her one day, at the very least to thank her for her work and for being an inspiration to so many people.

I guess I didn't make it very clear in my post, but even though I think she's different now, she'll always be my favorite model and I'll always respect her work. I might not be as enthusiastic as I used to be, but I'm still definitely a fan. I guess I just think that criticism and exploring different view points are part of being a fan. Not just blind praise.

Amber said...

I have to say that I'm guilty in coming here more often to simply read your thoughts, I always find them so compelling and I love that there always seems to be a dilemma playing out between your thoughts and writing. I think there comes a point of disappointment with every fan who fell in love with an artist for whatever reason. In Freja's case I see can that the spark is gone and honestly, it is just a job for many models. Their job is to show up and deliver the picture, period. A lot of times we don't take into account what's going on in their lives personally (Daul Kim) and the toll that constant traveling can take on them. It is an empty existence for those who never asked for it and who don't see their family or friends very often, and who might not have time to even develop any kind of relationship. To be doing that steadily for 5 years has got to be exhausting.

Her changes in manner might come from growing to be more self aware. I know I have, which I find annoying because I just wish I could let go of all of my thoughts and insecurities and just live.

Lastly, you're the best kind of fan because you care about their artistic integrity. The fans who aren't afraid to say that someone is not living up to their talent, or criticize them when need be are the most true fans.

Rrose Sélavy said...

^Thank you so much for your comment. It really means a lot to hear something so kind and encouraging like that.

Anonymous said...

That was nice comment,Amber. You write very eloquently.

Anonymous said...

don't be so hard on yourself. ;)

the thing is i totally get where you're coming from. (but it's probably not what you think it is) see it's a common penomenon. you said you've been a fan for over 3 years, this makes you one of the very first people that kind of "discovered" her! it's like listening to a song or a band, that only a few people know of. you're totally into that and feel kind of privileged,...and then wham... one day that very special song hits the charts, it's played on the radio ten times a day, and all those hipsters that are at least 5 years younger than you, make this very very special thing of yours that you cradled like a secret treasure, into something ugly and pretentious. this puts you inevitably into following situation. - you start to despise the very thing that you loved so dearly, because you don't want to ride that mainstream-wave. - or you stay true to yourself regardless of the current popularity. be happy for your protégé and sooth your ego with warm thoughts of you being one of the first who have noticed that miracle that freja is! lol

koko said...

do u still think so?