Healthy Images: An art piece to bring awareness to the harmful images portrayed within media.
The idea behind this project comes from a lifetime of viewing the disgraceful images created by our media; which objectify, oppress, shame, and over sexualize women. The specific images I am responding to are beer, lingerie, cosmetology, and shoe advertisements within there general categories. For example I focused on beers unhealthy images and the messages they send to society, instead of Budweiser, and there particular images. In most cases these specific categories work to sell the product through portraying male dominance, female passiveness, sexual violence towards the female, over sexualization of the female, and reducing the female to a mere object. Researching for offensive ads was as easy as picking up a magazine, researching healthy ads which do not do any of the above was extremely time consuming and prove to be difficult. I looked at “Anti-Advertising” for inspiration; I also looked at Cindy Sherman, as an artist for inspiration. She uses photography and photographs her self in specific situations/places in order to make a statement. Although her goal is not to create feminist photography, a lot of her work was inspirational to me in that aspect. The images are what I wanted to attack, and try to recreate. The images which I have included are images which could be included in ads. I made this decision because the images are what people from all cultures see, these images are the most persuasive device used in marketing, so I believed I needed to recreate the images themselves. These images are meant to be displayed as a print portfolio, because they are images that could possibly be used in print or web advertisements, however they could have been displayed in a gallery as a photography project. In the future I would love to have my in gallery, in the medium of photography; I believe the message of female empowerment can reach more people that way. In the future I would also like to transform the prints into a larger art project by combing them with other mediums, creating a collage perhaps. My goal for this project was to recreate healthy images which drew attention to the women in these photos in a light that was not demeaning violent or oppressive, and I believe I did that. I directed and modeled in the shoots, my colleague Kayla Duffy shot the photos. The models include me, and Allison Meade.