The Visual Appeal of Smoking
For those who instantly had a visceral response to the title, let me start by saying this is not a smoking symphatetic post. In this time and age, we’re all perfectly aware of the hazards smoking poses for one’s health and although I do smoke, the focus of this post is to present an unbiased opinion on the impact this action may have in visual representations.
Ever since cigarettes became mainstream, they were immediately associated with a glamorous lifestyle. In the early years when tobacco companies where the only ones aware of the associated dangers, smoking was seen as something reserved for successful gentleman who had it all: career, house, car and wife (remember the advertising campaigns?). Movie stars, singers and society’s most respectful were constantly spotted puffing and to an extent, it became a trademark for some.
So much so, that some of the most iconic pictures of these renowned personalities featured them enjoying a smoke. Odor and hazards aside, if you focus solely on the aesthetic aspect of these pictures there’s an undeniable sexiness associated with that eerie layer of smoke overlapping the human silhouette. It’s such a powerful statement that up to this day photographers and movie directors make the most of it to capture unique frames or depict certain personality traits. Although sex appeal is inherent to the person itself, in these pics smokes are outstanding allies…