Ekaterina Juskowski is a professional photographer and a phenomenal visual artist. She was raised and born in Moscow. Currently, she lives and works in Miami.
Before living in Miami, Ekaterina’s work required her to travel. One of her major destinations is Miami. It’s only appropriate to look up what to wear to fit in a new city. This is when Ekaterina’s discovery of “Miami girls” was born.
From an interview in the Miami New Times she stated, “I thought Miami girls had to look sexy and wear high heels; everyone had to be glamorous,” Juskowski says. “That’s what I knew and what I was trying to be.”
Then she continued, “I met so many Miami women who were educated, with high-paying jobs, dressed beautifully, [and were also] great wives and mothers.”
With her interview with us, she unveiled a shocking discovery that a lot of Miami residents aren’t aware of.
THE BIG REVELATION
The state of Florida spends 2 million USD every year to advertise Florida as the place for partying and going to the beach. The government of Florida wants to see Florida in a very particular way. Then when you go into the Miami girl stereotype where do we get this stereotype from, again from the media. We have advertisements that Miami is a highly service-driven society and also a luxurious society that sells luxury services. Services like condominiums, cars, lifestyle and the main consumer of that Miami lifestyle is a male. A very affluent male so in order to drive that male into Miami, we have to advertise services. If you want to sell a condo, we’ll put a woman on the couch. If you want to sell a car, we’ll put a woman into the car. If you want to lure a man into a restaurant or a nightclub, there will be a woman.
It’s been the case since the 1920s. In the 1920s, that was the big vision of Carl Fisher. He wanted to make Miami a party place. I learned that Carl Fischer alone spent 5 million USD out of his pocket in 1920s time, I think it’s around 30 million USD in today’s money, to advertise Miami and the beaches as a party place where beautiful women went. He got it.
Not many people are familiar but Miami and Florida were advertised on the cover of the New Yorker in every February issue for around 5 to 6 years in the twenties. The major crossroads of New York, Chicago, and major American cities featured Miami and women in bathing suits lying on the beach just to get that millionaire or industrialist to come down and invest here.
We’re still dealing with that legacy and advertising the city and the lifestyle and the price is paid by the women who doesn’t matter how many clothes you wear, someone is already telling a story.
MIAMI GIRLS FOUNDATION
Miami Girls Foundation is a 501(c)(3) non-profit media for social change platform empowering women in South Florida. This organization supports Miami leaders shaping the future of Miami by amplifying their voices through media partnerships, social media campaigns, and multimedia art projects.
In the span of the last 30 years, Miami transformed from a tourist destination into a top-tier global city with one of the nation’s fastest-growing economies. Despite that transformation, the general perception remains in the beach-and-beauty mode of decades back. Miami women have to contend with the strongest negative misconceptions created by the hypersexualized image of “Miami girls” popularized by the media and perpetuated as public opinion. The result? – Many young women living in Miami hesitate to self-identify with the city.
In 2015 Miami Girls Foundation made it its mission to reshape the “Miami Girls” damaging stereotype.