New York Times Explains Psychics for Dummies (aka Fashionistas)

The New York Times’ T Magazine reports on a fashion shoot in which a model dressed in different guises gets her fortune told by various psychics, and surprise surprise, the fortunes vary wildly based on what she’s wearing, even from the same psychic.

Ta-da! That’s called warm reading, something that every psychic does – s/he looks you over and figures out your basic deal. Are you going to college? Are you in a shitty relationship? Angling for a raise at the law firm?

Here’s what they write about the shoot:

Elle Muliarchyk has seen enough psychics to take their soothsaying with a pinch of sodium chloride. A model turned photographer, she believes that the clothes she has worn on the day of her readings have influenced the prognostications she has received. During the making of “Somnambuli,” Ms. Muliarchyk’s fashion video, shot exclusively for T, about the power of clothes to affect our destiny, the model Meghan Collison underwent a series of high-fashion transformations and had her fortune read by various New York clairvoyants. “The same psychic who told the model to clean up her act when she was dressed like a hippie,” Ms. Muliarchyk recalled, “saw Harvard in her future a few days later when she was dressed up like an Upper East Side lady.” Spooky, huh?

Every day I get more and more annoyed at our bullshit consumerist culture, particularly the vacuousness of the fashion industry. But hey, this is alright! Somewhere someone learned something about con artists today, instead of/in addition to having her body image, life goals, and core values irrevocably distorted. I know, I’m in a harsh mood. Hey look, an artsy video about the shoot [SMOKE PELLET]!

Rebecca Watson

Rebecca is a writer, speaker, YouTube personality, and unrepentant science nerd. In addition to founding and continuing to run Skepchick, she hosts Quiz-o-Tron, a monthly science-themed quiz show and podcast that pits comedians against nerds. There is an asteroid named in her honor.

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  1. If anyone wants to register at that site to comment, there is some low-hanging fruit at comment number 3.

    “… the energy always comes from within.”

  2. #3 was right about one thing:

    The true test comes with the insights we offer and the predictions that come true.

    I’ll concede that she probably didn’t mean it quite the way I read it.

  3. Every day I get more and more annoyed at our bullshit consumerist culture, particularly the vacuousness of the fashion industry.

    Imagine copy editing this every day where even those articles about the “positive trend” of “plus-sized models ” (i.e. average human females) only do so by reinforcing said consumerism. The worst is editing the 300 different versions of the same top 10 list of hair products.

    Luckily, my ‘soul’ gets crushed only during the afternoons.

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