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Is this Glee star glamorizing domestic abuse?

Heather Morris stars in the TV show Glee.


When did abuse suddenly get so chic?

A star of TV's Glee has jumped on the look-good-bruised fashion wagon, smiling through a photo shoot sporting a nasty black eye.

In one picture, Heather Morris, who plays cheerleader Brittany on the show, tugs on the cord of an iron with her teeth, her wrists tied up. In another, she cheerfully presses the iron to a man's crotch.

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The photographer, Tyler Shields, explains in the caption: "Even Barbie bruises. We have been talking about shooting for a long time and we finally made it happen! Some magic, irons and bruises later it was complete."

So what is it, really?

A statement of female liberation? That's the argument made by Mr. Shields, previously known for photographing Lindsay Lohan holding a gun to her head. He told US Weekly: "Our shoot poses a lot of questions, but just like in real life, Heather is definitely not a victim. More like a really liberated woman."

So it's provocative art?

That's what an Edmonton salon insisted this week when an ad on its Facebook page depicting a well-coiffed model sporting a black eye became the subject of widespread criticism. The tagline reads: "Look Good in All you Do." The salon owner said they just meant to start a discussion about domestic violence.

Or on the glorification of violence? "So wait … we're glamorizing bruises/abuse now?" is one comment on the Tyler Shield website.

Rita Smith, the director for the National Coalition Against Domestic Violence told E! News: "If he [Shield]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."

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In Edmonton, vandals expressed their opinion of the salon's ad by spray-painting critical messages on its windows and dousing its front door with paint.

Is it art or glorification? And is it ever a good idea for an actress from a popular show about teenagers to model a fake black eye like it's a new shade of lip gloss?

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About the Author

Erin Anderssen writes about mental health, social policy and family issues. More

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