The “Quinoa” series began on Pinterest when author Tiffany Beveridge, a mother from Philadelphia, had her sense of humour piqued by one of the many offbeat children’s fashion images that this blog in particular is full of – and added an amusing caption, calling the girl in the image “Quinoa”: thereby mocking food-fadism and pretentious celebrity baby names in one go. She did some more, the pins went “Pinterest-viral” in June 2013, and now she has a book – How to Quinoa: Life Lessons from My Imaginary Well-Dressed Daughter – and contributes to the Huffington Post . In one of the articles published there she describes how mid-life broodiness for a daughter (she already had two sons) contributed to Quinoa’s virtual creation: pinning images of little girls’ fashion was a substitute for choosing outfits for the real thing.
The “imaginary daughter” on the board started out as a toddler – but after the first few pins at the beginning the models start getting older, as she realised how much more satirical fodder there is in older children’s promotional images. I’d often wondered if she thought much about the demands of the industry and the photographic process that lead to these sometimes-bizarre images – and was pleased to see that she’s actually met the cover star of her book- Zuzanna Tarnacki:
…..I wonder if she asked her why Gina Kim (see Facebook link below) shot her blowing bubble-gum while leaning up against a wall……?
One fascinating thing about the “Quinoa” images, however, is how well they’re chosen in terms of interest, attractiveness, memorability – Tiffany has extremely good taste: I’ve featured four or five already on this blog – remember these….?
….beautiful shots in themselves, as well as supplying visual elements for some gentle fun-poking….as is the main image from Marie Chantal at the start of the post. Here are some more I could well use in the future:
…any beautiful adult model in shots being identified as Quinoa’s nanny Fontanelle…
…a nice loving swipe at Gwyneth Paltrow and Chris Martin’s “conscious uncoupling”: and another beautiful image… It’s interesting that the viewer doesn’t mind that “Quinoa” changes age, hair colour, physical type: they could all be this lovable monster of our times – all impossibly beautiful, rich, well dressed, snooty, demanding, pampered and spoilt – yet somehow understandable and admirable in their single-minded egotism.
To get back to the opening image: Tiffany sources it as Marie Chantal (I wonder if Princesses from kingdoms that don’t exist anymore are like Quinoa?) and while there’s an associated picture online that dates and locates the collection:
…I couldn’t find it (the link from the photo itself has been removed). I’m sure in context there’s a reason why she’s climbing up a wall – but in the meantime I’m more than happy with Tiffany’s explanation. Here’s a rather more flattering shot of her than in the Instagram snap:
….and finally my all-time favourite Quinoa pin: