My entry is called womens bodies, war and peace
It is about the sadness I feel when I recognise how most women feel about their bodies. I tried to express how even the most beautiful woman is at war with herself, that women find it so hard to love and more importantly accept their bodies as they are. We starve ourselves, develop eating disorders, undergo plastic surgery, we give ourselves pain as we wax, tweeze, pluck. We tease our hair and contort our bodies to fit some ideal of beauty, we try to squeeze ourselves into the barbie doll mode and even the beautiful barbies amongst us think they are ugly. and yet we are all goddesses, if we could only see.
I took the barbie doll and made her blind and dumb, blind as we just dont see how beautiful we are...as we are
...dumb because we are too slow to speak out against misogynistic advertising, against people who make money telling us that we are not pretty enough, those who tell us that we are unacceptable. That we need to change, so we start to think that its OK to cut into our bodies, Ok to remove the laughter lines, Ok to remove the stretch marks from carrying babies. Ok to Remove the rounded feminine beauty of ourselves.
She is also tied up, kept a submissive consumer, not a woman in charge of defining her own ideas of what is acceptable
Barbie (of course, the epitome of the brainwashing that starts early, telling us what is acceptable) carries a scalpel blade and she wears the marks of surgeons pen. Showing the areas to be cut to achieve beauty. barbie also sits on a pedestal. Society tends to put beauty on a pedestal and encourages the rest of us to gather around and to think that we are not beautiful too.
The gold coins represent how much money is made in keeping us all feeling ugly.
All of the images of bodies on the right side of the shrine (anorexic, before shots for plastic surgery) are all covered in a veil of pink glitter. This represents how much of a veil of acceptability is drawn over these acts of violence ,that we do to ourselves. This is created by the industries that that want us to feel insecure and ugly so that they can sell us more things. The dieting industry, cosmetic industries, plastic surgery industries, They have managed to convince us that we really want this. 'you're worth it'. these industries are the people who hide the ugly truth that the pursuit of idealised standards of beauty is killing us.
Beside the gold coins is a little picture of myself at a time in my life when I hated my body the most. This shrine is dedicated to every single woman who ever felt ugly.
women that die from the results of surgery, they kill themselves through dieting or starvation, but less extreme..we just
endure a lifetime of hating our beautiful bodies that carry us around. The skulls represent the little deaths we experience every day when we look in the mirror and feel sad because we dont like what we see.
the backdrop to my shrine is flowers, reflecting the real natural beauty that is in all of us.
The top section of the shrine shows the trophy that we strive for, The prize of knowing that we are the prettiest, there is also a little hair curler, tweezers and bling to represent how we, every day, work towards these things. We want to have the acclaim of others, because we are tragically unable to feel pretty ourselves.
At the top of the shrine is Kwan Yin, the goddess of compassion, she sits next to our despair, because first of all we need to have compassion for ourselves in our feelings towards our bodies, especially when we despair of ever loving outselves
this shrine is not just about my despair of how hard we are on ourselves as women, it also offers some steps towards a solution, some words and actions that might help.
also covered in glitter, but this time representing sparkles of joy.
And last of all on the back, is my story, my history of my feelings towards my body, where my feelings about my body came from and the path that I am on to acceptance. I am learning to stop the conflict of my bad feelings towards the strong healthy body that I have.
I know that the shrine seems despairing, but in essence it is not, it is a celebration, that despite the relentless pressures of having to conform, having to be beautiful, women still survive, they triumph. To most women, eventually, a sense of acceptance and ease with our bodies eventually arrives. OK it might not stick around 100% of the time, but women are beautiful, strong and resilient. We get there in the end.
Construction details, the shrine itself was made with papier mache layers over cardboard, few coats of paint, elements added, with a ton of glitter..I am addicted to the stuff!! I hope you like it and that I have managed to get my feelings expressed with the images.