sasha_feather: the back of furiosa's head (furiosa: back of head)
[personal profile] sasha_feather
Previous post on this subject:

While talking with Jesse about how to *really* get at what I want to describe, rather than male gaze or female gaze, what we came up with was empathetic or empathizing gaze vs. Objectifying gaze.

I like accuracy of language, as you have probably figured out if you've known me a while.

You can divide any image into thirds. Your eye will fall onto the top third line or bottom third line of the frame. What sits on this line? Objectifying images often have breasts and hips of women at the top and bottom thirds. Empathethic gaze images will have the subject's eyes at the top third line (or sometimes the center or bottom third) of the image; the point is that you are focusing on their eyes and that encourages you to feel what they are feeling.

TJ and Amal ( is a good example of empathetic gaze in a comics medium.
Also see:
Mad Max: Fury Road
Moonlight - notice the focus on eyes and hands in the trailer (

Date: 2017-02-23 10:46 pm (UTC)
jesse_the_k: unicorn line drawing captioned "If by different you mean awesome" (different=awesome)
From: [personal profile] jesse_the_k
Ohhh! Neat, now I'm going to look at everything anew.

Date: 2017-02-24 12:49 am (UTC)
likeadeuce: (Default)
From: [personal profile] likeadeuce
Oh that is excellent

Date: 2017-02-24 03:23 am (UTC)
alatefeline: Painting of a cat asleep on a book. (Default)
From: [personal profile] alatefeline
Huh. Fascinating.

Would another variant of empathetic gaze be images that majorly include, with the person, that persons's work, or art, or something they are observing, in a way that shows them focused on it? I'm thinking of photos of kids playing with blocks, someone kneeling down to pet a dog, a hiker bending to pick up a rock, an artist painting, an roboticist making adjustments - the 'we are looking at this thing together; look at me being with my cool thing' photo.

For me, because eye contact doesn't quite work to convey mood or encourage bonding, that's something a lot more meaningful. But it makes a lot of sense that putting generally-informative pieces of body language (face/eyes and hands) in the focus lines instead of body parts regarded as titillating encourages people to think of the subject of the photo asa person.

I think N.K. Jemisin wrote an interesting blog entry about her official author photo and the photo shoot, let me see if I can find it... And her eyes appear to be on that 1/3 from top line mentioned. Cool!

Thanks for sharing.


sasha_feather: Retro-style poster of skier on pluto.   (Default)

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