As a society we are bombarded with images of the female form, often highly sexualised and retouched to perfection, created through the view of the ‘male gaze’. Working within fashion and beauty photography, I became extremely conscious of these depictions of women and of the effect that being exposed to this imagery can have on young girls. In a society where social media plays an integral part of our everyday lives and the ‘selfie’ now has a place in the Oxford dictionary, young women are able to choose exactly how they wish to portray themselves on these online platforms. Scroll through Instagram and you see them pouting, preened to perfection and, increasingly, posing in their underwear. Are these girls self-objectifying and becoming a product of our culture or are they using the platform as a form of empowerment?
My work seeks to explore themes of femininity, sexuality and body image, inspired by my own experiences as a young woman and through means of collaboration with other young women; drawing on texts by feminists such as Simone de Beauvoir and Judith Butler and exploring the idea that femininity is a construction of society – an act that we, as women, learn.
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