Brighton Beach Mod

Yelley Genkin

I am making a fashion magazine about different women from Brighton Beach, Brooklyn, New York, an American town filled with post soviet immigrants. The magazine mimics Soviet magazines as it includes patterns for clothing instead of catalogues of items you can buy. This is due to the limited supply available under the communist Soviet Union. In the magazine, I am showing two outfits per person that represent different tropes in the community. I have made, adapted, and altered clothes to make the outfits for these women. Through symbolism in the outfits I am explaining how these post-Soviet immigrants adapt in Capitalist America.

The women in the magazine are to compete in a beauty pageant and the consumer can send in their vote for which woman should best represent the community of Brighton Beach. Beauty pageants were culturally significant in America and represented what a woman’s role should be - to be a “beautiful” nuclear family housewife. In America, women had less independence well into the 20th century as they could not even apply for credit without their husband’s approval until 1974. During the same period, in the Soviet Union, women were expected to work outside the home and received direct government support for their families. By entering these immigrant women into a beauty pageant I am enabling them to achieve the American Dream as it was presented to women.

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