Watching the girl in orange

Vankleek Hill 'Yes, Women Can' model

It feels as though calling a convention featuring businesses owned and run by women “Yes, Women Can!” would come across as a little condescending to some people. But I’m not in charge of these things.

However, bringing nearly 100 businesses, all rural and locally owned or run by women, into one building for a one day convention and networking opportunity definitely has the potential to be a brilliant idea.

The third, and largest, “Yes, Women Can!” event was held in Vankleek Hill’s community centre over the weekend… it was, as far as I can tell, a huge success. I shot most of it for the local paper. There are, it turns out, an astonishing number of ‘new age’ clinics in this region. I think a third of the 70+ exhibits featured crystals, massages, makeovers or positive thinking exercises.

…mostly the rest of it was food, fashion and a VW Bug.

The convention had some really interesting presentations on mental health, spousal abuse and caring for elderly parents. And there were also live demonstrations on using karate for self-defence, dance aerobics, belly dancing and two fashion shows.

It’s hard not to present stereotypes when stereotypes make up most of the opportunities for careers. At least around here. If there had been a “Yes, Men Can!” convention, I’m sure most of the exhibits and booths would have featured construction equipment and AC/DC cover bands.

It’s just who “we” are, and the level of access to success we have.

The next one is in two years [link: here].

…anyway, of the nearly 700 photos I took during the event, this was one of my favourites. The model is part of the ‘Flash Coiffure Fashion Show’. I’ve put up two cropped versions, the wider crop is my personal favourite.

Update: neither version, for whatever reason, made it into the paper. Which seems odd. But, again, I’m not in charge.

Vankleek Hill model cropped

Vankleek Hill Photos copyright

4 thoughts on “Watching the girl in orange

  1. Awesome photo, spectacular composition. That floor pattern leads the eye to the girl, the payoff in the orange dress. I can totally see why the newspaper chose this photo.


    • …that’s the crazy thing, as far as I can tell this was the best shot from the event (by me or the other shooter), but they didn’t chose it. They published three or four of my shots, but the one they chose from the fashion show was a girl in a white T-shirt, orange scarf and blue jeans with almost zero crowd members in the background (she was stunning, though).

      Weird choices.

      Thanks, Kitty.


  2. Nice shot! I’m not usually a big fan of orange, but that dress is a gorgeous shade. Is the name “Yes, Women Can!” condescending? Yep, but I guess their hearts are in the right place. I looked over the list of exhibitors and events, but virtually nothing was of interest to me. My Mom went and enjoyed it, but she likes reading about nutrition and health – so there was plenty of stuff for her. Actually, back in the 80’s my Mom started a weekly group that met in VKH called “Women’s Time Out” – she arranged guest speakers and whatnot. It was kind of like “Yes, Woman Can”, only one vendor at a time.

    Maybe 10 years ago I went to something called “The Women’s Voices Festival” (out past Plantagenet somewhere) with my art and there was sooo much New Age-y stuff there. I traded a couple of paintings with other vendors as I usually do, but had to politely find a way to say no to a woman who wanted to give me a session of ear-candling which is complete nonsense (and not entirely safe).

    I bet there aren’t too many men-centric events where men are trying to balance your chi or descrying your future love life from tea leaves. I read so much mythology that I recognize the earth mother/pagan/new age/emotional connection, but I still find it odd sometimes. I am all about the profound beauty of nature/sex/mystery etc, but when someone starts telling me about my chakras…I tend to get a bit twitchy. ;) Now, I’m off to reread The Bacchae – gnight.


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