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Is Glee‘s Heather Morris Glamorizing Domestic Violence In This Edgy Photo Shoot?

Submitted by on September 12, 2011 – 9:19 amNo Comment
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“Even Barbie Bruises.”

That’s what fashion photographer Tyler Shields wanted to show the world when he snapped provocative pictures of Glee‘s resident ditzy blonde, Heather Morris “as a subversive ‘Barbie-style’ housewife.” Tied up in a wire cord, covered in a ghastly bruise and drinking water thirstily out of an iron, the 24-year-old actress looked more like a broken down Barbie then a housewife. Clearly controversial, but does taking pictures of a beautiful girl covered in bruises promote domestic violence? Thousands thought yes! Less than 24 hours after Tyler placed the images on his Web site, backlash erupted, calling the photos distasteful and a clear ploy to make getting beat look sexy.

Rita Smith, executive director of the National Coalition Against Domestic Violence, told E! “I’m quite sure there are plenty of women who have been abused by these kinds of household appliances and children as well being hit with electrical cords…If he had stopped with the image of the bruise, [the pics] could conceivably be used as a way to raise awareness about the impact of violence. But the other things do make it look appealing, as if she might be enjoying the process and I don’t think that’s helpful.”

Rita went further, stating that Tyler’s “crazy Barbie” shoot reminded her of the real-life tragedy that happened not to long ago between Chris Brown and Rihanna. “There is nothing glamorous about violence.” And it makes sense that the image of a seemingly battered woman would provoke a strong and potentially pained response. Real abuse happens every day, and it’s not sexy or beautiful. I don’t know what the purpose of the series of photos is other than showing her in a different light. But there is nothing glamorous about violence and I think the real photos of Rihanna would show that it’s not a beautiful thing that happens to you.”

Tyler’s image looks eerily similar to this photo taken of Rihanna after her altercation with Chris Brown back in February 2009.

Ironically, Tyler has received death threats from the same critics that oppose his edgy imagery. Side note: So, it’s totally fine to threaten to actually kill someone for taking some photographs but it’s deplorable to take photos of a girl with a fake bruise on her face? Excuse my pun, but something just seems wrong with this picture.

With the roles reversed and Tyler suddenly the subject of attention, the photographer stood his ground, defending his work. “I completely have no regrets about the photoshoot,” Tyler told EW. “Not one percent. But I regret that feelings were hurt. That was never my intention…I think a lot of people think it’s fashion photography, and it’s not. I’m an artist. This isn’t a clothing ad campaign. It’s an art piece we did together.”

Despite having “no regrets,” Tyler publicly apologized and is planning to raise money for Glamour Magazine‘s “Tell Someone” Campaign. “We do have people talking, so I will auction off three photos for $100,000 each and I will give every penny to charity if they sell,” Tyler told the Daily Mail. “So if you are anti-domestic abuse spread the word about it. Threatening to kill me is not going to help anything.”

Check out some video and the rest of Tyler’s shocking shoot with Heather below. Do you think the photo shoot was artsy or atrocious?

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