Tag » body image
  For the artist Annette Thas, Barbie is a disturbingly bittersweet symbol of childhood nostalgia and longing; for installation piece “Wave I,” she uses between 3,000 and 5,000 barbie dolls to build a sculptural wave, re-appropriating the doll as a means of translating her earliest memories, scenes which now flood her after returning to Belgium to care for her ill sister. Read More
  Trigger warning: mildly graphic imagery In a startling critique of the ways in which images of women’s bodies are consumed, the artist Jessica Ledwich presents “The Fanciful, Monstrous Feminine,” a collection of surreal photographs documenting the psychological consequences of contemporary beauty standards and practices. For Ledwich, female sexuality is viewed as “threatening” and is therefore oppressed; here, she exaggerates the femme fatale image, showing her red-lipped, square-nailed protagonist engaging in violence with her own body. Read More
  When the photographer Julia Kozerski lost literally half her body weight, dropping from 338 to under 178 lbs, she cataloged her complex emotional reaction to her physical transformation in a series titled Half. Unlike most most weight loss media aimed at shaming women for our bodies, the artist avoids the display of any cheerful post-weight-loss confidence, forcing viewers to consider the murky and provocative intersections of body image and identity. Read More
The selfie photograph is potentially profoundly empowering, but as a genre it can also be repetitive and affirming of specific and exclusive ideas about beauty and female self-worth; it all depends on the selfie in question. Amidst the plethora of staged selfie images, one selfie we don’t see very much is a selfie in which a woman’s body is changing unpredictably, and that’s what makes the photographer Sophie Starzenski’s 40 Weeks and a Mirror so powerful. Read More
It’s no surprise I clicked the link to the Salon article titled “What Americans Don’t Understand about Weight Loss.” Partly because I am a feminist, and I thought the piece would pick apart the idea that we need to count calories to be worthy, and partly because I myself have always struggled with poor body image and a perpetual weight-loss pursuit. The picture accompanying the story (see below) suggests that we're bound by our obsession with weight loss, placing unhealthy importance upon the poundage of our bodies. Read More
  On her 32nd birthday, Beth Whaanga was diagnosed with breast cancer; valiantly fighting back against the illness, she asked her friend, the photographer Nadia Masot, to take portraits of her nude body after a double mastectomy and hysterectomy as part of Under the Red Dress, a project designed to spread awareness about regular breast and pectoral examination. The beautiful series of images features Whaanga, a mother of four, gazing fixedly at the camera, acknowledging her scars, and proudly exposing her resilient body. Read More
  Barbie has made headlines that lately; as we continue to push toy companies towards a doll that includes more diverse body types, ethnicities, careers, and lifestyles, some groundbreaking artists have reworked and re-appropriated the toy to challenge expectations and sexist assumptions. My personal favorite of these artists, Margaux Lange, shared a recent Barbie tidbit with her social media network this morning: the doll is going to be featured in the Sports Illustrated Swimsuit Issue. Read More
The photographer Stephanie Diani, whose exquisite series on burlesque dancers captivated us last week, is also the force behind Tribe of Impossible Perfection, a body of work comprising a rich collection of photographs illustrating the personal and cultural significance of body image. For each portrait, she invited a sitter to divulge their thoughts on their own bodies, asking, “If you could change anything about yourself, what would it be?” As they dictated, a plastic surgeon etched pre-surgical lines on their skin in marker. Read More
An online petition for Disney to feature their first plus-sized female protagonist has been created by Virginia high school student, Jewel Moore. On Change.org, she explains: “I made this petition because I’m a plus-size young woman, and I know many plus sized girls and women who struggle with confidence and need a positive plus-size character in the media. Read More
Attention ladies of the world! The time has come to start using that hot wax for aromatherapy candles and those razors for Sweeney Todd productions! Pubic hair removal is a thing of the past! At least that's what a new study from British pharmaceutical group UK Medix is telling me.  According to their statistics, 51% of women (out of 1,870 surveyed) "do not style or groom their pubic hair." 45% of these women attribute ditching the Sally Hansen to the simple fact that they can "no longer be bothered" with the annoyances of grooming. Read More
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