For many young feminists, the “selfie” has been claimed as a fulfilling expressive medium that lends itself to self-actualization and confidence. The artist Lindsay Bottos explains, “The act of women taking selfies is inherently feminist, especially in a society that tries so hard to tell women that our bodies are projects to be worked on […] Selfies are like a ‘fuck you’ to all of that.” And maybe she’s right, but the fact remains that the internet can be a cruel place where anonymous bullies can verbally attack human beings without repercussions.
For women, this bullying is arguably magnified; in the past months, talented female internet presences have been degraded for their physical appearances. And that’s what makes Bottos’s new—now viral— series, titled Anonymous, so important. Presenting the selfie medium and irreverently elevating it to the status of fine art, she superimposes screen shots of the hateful comments she frequently receives on her Tumblr account. Not only demeaned as an artist but also as a woman, she takes a courageous stand against the anonymous voices that aim to silence and humiliate women.
The work has been criticized as amateurish, but its thoughtful and internet-savvy style only adds to its appeal. Contributing to a dialogue that exists primarily on the internet, she positions her body and text in ways that we recognize as pertaining to our contemporary web culture, inviting us to actively consider our online behavior.
Thanks to Beautiful/Decay
Images via Beautiful/Decay