The Kardashian women and unrealistic body goals…
Today we are exposed to a constant stream of body ideals that are next to impossible to achieve. The most famous out there would be the Kardashians who are famous for the tiniest of waistlines and the biggest curves in all the right places.
The Photoshop behind the majority of this families success has led to girls body shaming in an effort to look like the latest Kardashian trend. It’s true what they say money really does speak, and if we had the money we would all turn into a Kim K look alike.
They encourage girls to objectify themselves even on social media all the girls post the most revealing images and in some bare all! Now that we can buy their waist-trainers, makeup and clothing line we want to be them. We don’t care about the amount of money it will cost the physical and mental dangers to ourselves. They aren’t just trend setters they are a trend in themselves.
Because they have created this perfect narrative on their Instagram we copy it. Although we slate them for how fake they are that even their ‘natural’ selfies are Photo shopped yet we do our best to recreate the look. Because of what we see it means me just can’t seem to be happy with what we do have ourselves. Now it is all about being self-obsessed and who’s Instagram looks the best.
After having read this book multiple times and the using it as a main reference in my dissertation I thought it was about time I put my thoughts out there. Every time I find myself reading this book it is always the third chapter that sticks out the most for me.
His lack of empathy towards women in this chapter astounds me.. some see it as his way of celebrating women. I see it as condemning them. He talks about how women are nothing but a ‘mirror image’, but it was men who lead us to believe that was what we initially were for.
“To be born a women has been to be born, within an allotted and confined space, into the keeping of men… But this has been at the cost of a women’s self being split in two. A women must continually watch herself. She is almost continually accompanied by her own image of herself”
We really ave become conscious of how we are perceived by others. And Berger talks about how it in theory started back as far as the biblical story of Adam and Eve. The women made the first mistake and then was made to feel shame over her nakedness, From there they made Eve subservient to Adam.
And from then it is said to have started. Then referencing art work through the ages that has depicted the naked form of a women being watched or looking at herself. We work ourselves around how we want men to perceive us, body images stems from wanting acceptance and to be desired by men. And Berger put it in this format that shows us how women are vanity they only are pleased by what we see in our reflection.
But really yes women got handed the mirror by the artists/ photographers but it was the women who chose to accept what was handed to her and admire her own appearance.
Looking back to my first shoot and how the work has evolved from my initial ideas has left me feeling stuck on where to take it. I started of with wanting to look at the ideas of becoming the perfect image.
I started off with this over-sexualised shoot in which I tried to capture the body in a desirable way, it left me thinking what really is the perfect body shape. Which in turn is a very controversial everyone has a different view on this subject.
So with this work I asked my model what she had thought, and these are my two favourites from the shoots. I like the confidence that can be seen coming through in my images which also left me happy with my work. It is very different work from what I am used to and comfortable so as a first shoot I was proud of my work.
The model I used I have also used in past work and seeing the change in her as she has both grown in age and confidence has been interesting to see and document as I will talk about in my next blog post.
It is now a matter of finding the link between both my studio work and location to see how I can show this new chapter in her life as my final project. I will be experimenting with books and archival images from the past to show the growth and how although unknown to me a project that has been ongoing for the last few years. As I feel linking all my work together will show the correlation in my work form both this year and the previous.
After mentioning this artists work in my last blog post, I wanted to look at her properly. Excellences and perfections is a perfect example of the characters of Instagram today.
This hoax she created attracted thousands more followers over the course of the work. She has used her work as a social experiment to demonstrate how people respond to and mimic these characteristics.
Giving the appearance she was going through drastic physical and mental changes. From the cute girl persona to the girl do Chanel coke lines off Mirrors.
After doing a lot of research into the characters she could become she developed a narrative to link the three together. Thanking her followers for the support as she ‘learned who the real me is’.
She cleansed, enhanced and ditched the coffee lover for the semi nudes and tear filled posts. All part of a carefully planned story to at the end show the falsity of her work.
With it receiving a lot of negative attention for supposedly lying to her followers. She points out she only did what we do everyday ourselves on Instagram.
There is one thing that I find sticks out a lot at the moment. And that’s how many followers or likes we have!
We all want to become this Instagram famous person. And I believe it is down to the people who influence us. For example the whole Kardashian bunch, they have millions of followers for the false narrative they create. And it’s rubbing off on women everywhere.
We like the idea that we can be anyone we want to be on Instagram no one really will know the real story. We can become what we think is an intrend unique person. But the reality is this narrative women follow is one that has rules. Gone have the days where you could post any old rubbish on Instagram not caring how many likes it got.
You become a category much like the work of Amalia Ulam who’s own work showed the three types of women we put ourselves in with. How all realities are fictions. No one really is who they say they are no matter how many times they put ‘no filter’ or ‘natural’. But because it is made to be so normal now. Between the rules of what you can post to how your profile should look we start to lose our identity.
No one really is who they want to be as much as they believe it. We all have insecurities in one way or another. But creating this whole new person makes us feel more inadequate when we put the phone down for those few minutes a day. All the followers we have are also their social media equivalents. Our own body image should not reflect that of who got the most likes on a selfie and has over X-amount of follower. Yet we have been bred to believe that’s how it is.
We need to move out of the virtual world and learn to like the reflection.