Alfred Eisenstaedt, the author of the iconic photo “V-J Day in Times Square,” was an American journalist born in Germany. On the photo, he captured a sailor grabbing a nurse and kissing her on New York City street after the announcement of the Japanese surrender and the end of World War II. The man wearing a dark suit and the woman being in all white shows what is called a romantic kiss. She lifts her right leg slightly, and her left arm rests on her waist while the sailor leans over the woman and holds her waits with his right hand. The photo has a smell of the promise and relief of that momentous event.
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I think that idea of the picture is not about the nurse or the sailor; it is about the emotions that this artwork induces. Perhaps for the current generation, it is difficult to imagine the extent to which those people in the photo were excited about the end of the war. But those who still remember seeing a significant moment captured with decisive speed, elegance, beauty. I also believe that there are not many photographers left who can convey collective experience so skillfully. However, some people might disagree with me, referring to the inappropriate behavior depicted in this photo. According to Mindy Weisberger, the sailor and the woman did not know each other, so many people, especially feminist activists, view the “V-J Day in Times Square” as a public sexual assault. Although the kiss was non-consensual, Weisberger reports that the man and woman disagree with this opinion. It was more about the event itself, the long-awaited victory, and not about the kiss.
Weisberger, Mindy. “WWII Sailor in Controversial ‘The Kiss’ Photo Dies at 95.” LiveScience. Web.
Eisenstaedt, Alfred. V-J Day in Times Square. 1945. Time. 100 Photos. Web.