Sky Ferreira Uncovered

The cover of Sky Ferreira‘s new album, Night Time, My Time,* makes me uncomfortable (which is one reason I have used the cropped version; her left breast is fully exposed on the actual cover):

But why does this bother me more than the cover of her first single, “One,” the photo of a young girl (she was 17 at the time) who has been debauched and discarded.

Sky Ferreira-One

Is it because Ferreira throws the reality of this invasion back in our faces instead of offering the usual lecherous fantasy projection of a man being welcomed into a young girl’s shower?

Hers is not the terror of Janet Leigh in Psycho:


Ferreira is vulnerable, somewhat repulsed and, perhaps most of all, resigned.

Now this is not the first time a pop star has gone topless to promote an album. Debbie Harry did it in 1976:


This is not even the first time Ferreira has done a topless shoot (as a simple Google search reveals).

But Ferreira did not want to go with the usual Lolita image,** as she explains:

I think my label wanted … well they sent me mockups of photos of a shoot I did two years ago. I had long blonde hair and I’m sitting on a bed looking cute. I’m in a black dress looking pretty. It’s whatever. It’s a beautiful photo but that’s just what it is: me, modeling. And that’s what they wanted me to use instead of me looking demented in the shower. I thought it was great to have the opportunity to have an album cover shot by Gaspar, who’s one of my favorite directors ever. [Gaspar Noé directed Irreversible, which follows the consequences of a brutal rape.] I was so fortunate. I’m so grateful to work with him. I think it’s the first album cover he’s ever shot too. And he’s a huge influence on me and that image is really important to me. It says a lot to me … my face says it all.”

There is something qualitatively different about this cover photo. Is it that the viewpoint is no longer that of Humbert Humbert, but of Lolita herself?

* Out today in the UK, months after its physical release in the US, which was months after its digital release.

** Of course, Sky Ferreira has employed the Lolita image extensively elsewhere, which I will take up in my next post . . .

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One thought on “Sky Ferreira Uncovered

  1. Pingback: Pop Lolitas | Societe Anonyme Inc

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