The Woman on the Sewing Machine Box

My wife recently got a sewing machine, and since we weren’t far from moving, we kept the box in our old living room, so I saw this face every day for many weeks . . .

It wasn’t long before I began to analyze this photo.  First, it’s quite obvious that the design for this box was picked around 2000, and since then the designers have thought, “Nah, still looks good to me!”  Maybe they moved their offices to rural North Dakota since then.  I dunno.  I’m not really going to waste time making fun of the outdated fashion.  Instead I want to concentrate on how fascinating stock photos like this are to me.

You read that right.

Look at the image again.  What does it feel like she’s “saying” on that box?  Be nice, now.  I’m asking for serious.  I see, “I just love my sewing machine; I feel cool and confident as a woman using such an awesome device!”  It looks, to me, like she’s really happy about that sewing machine!  Look how pleased she is with herself because she has that sewing machine!  This lady can patch a pair of jeans and make some curtains, and she’s CONFIDENT about it!  Yeah, sewing machine!

But it’s extremely likely that the model in that photo didn’t pose like that knowing her picture would end up on this box.  When that shutter fired, she wasn’t thinking about putting some cute stitching onto a table cloth; she was probably thinking about lunch.  My interpretations of her expression are completely contingent upon her being placed next to that picture of a sewing machine.  If we put her next to something else, it COMPLETELY CHANGES what it looks like she’s telling us.  You might think you know where I’m taking this, and you’re probably right.

This is going to be really low-fi*, so brace yourself.

“Attending this university was the best decision I ever made for myself.  I love my classes, have a great social life, and have no worries about my future.”

“I feel completely fulfilled as a person because I have healthy skin as a result of this facial cream.  My confidence is through the ROOF!”

“I can rest easy knowing that their uniforms are clean on the way to the game.  They may be rough, but I’m tough through the gentle cycle.”

“I just signed the papers and I move into my new home this weekend.  I’m still happy and confident about my decision because I understand everything I just did.”

“I am pleased that I don’t have herpes.”

You see what I mean?  At no point when looking at any of those photos were you remembering that you first associated her with a sewing machine.  THAT’S SO WEIRD!

There’s really no big lesson or deeper meaning I intend to explore here, I just wanted to make sure you see what I see.  That’s what you’re reading this for.

*I have no shame in my extensive use of MS Paint.  YOU take a class to learn to use Illustrator.  I’m a WRITER.


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