I want to write about this as the backlash it received blew me away…
I have been watching and reading the Harry Potter’s for as long as I can remember, Emma Watson was always an inspiration. I mean who wouldn’t want to look and like her!! So 2001 6year old me goes to see what at the time is the most magical thing I have ever seen excuse the pun.
And what amazes me is 16 years later we are in denial that Hermione Granger grew up. We are in a day in age where all we do is make kids grow quicker, put the toys down and pick up the IPhone. I am apparently part of the minority who found this Vanity Fair cover tasteful and artistic, not revealing and shame worthy. She is 26 now not 10! And the criticism she received on this was enormous. The belief of gone is little Miss Granger and she calls herself a feminist… Yes she outgrew her school uniform. She is one of few celebrities trying to make a change. Feeling comfortable and empowered by her body does not lose her these titles, it embodies them.
“It just always reveals to me how many misconceptions and what a misunderstanding there is about what feminism is, Feminism is about giving women choice. Feminism is not a stick with which to beat other women with. It’s about freedom, it’s about liberation, it’s about equality. I really don’t know what my t—s have to do with it.”
I could not agree more with what she has said, her views on equal pay have nothing to do with her breasts that are not even on show. How does it differ from the male celebrities we see shirtless all the time. Or the Kardashians and their constant no clothes plastic surgery look. Emma Watson is a perfect example of elegance and poise, and she showed this in a classy beautiful artistic way. With the smallest cleavage reveal since pre-Kardashian sex tape!
I for one respect her, she has grown and many of us grew with her and can appreciate that fact. Our generation should be more sad that the current generation will know her as Belle NOT Hermione!!
After my recent tutorial my project has been thrown out. And now am left confused as to what my project is really about now. My tutor after seeing my work for many months and knowing what it is about decided he did not like what the work was about anymore.
The idea of who she was, who she wants to be and who she really is now isn’t the basis for the work. But rather now I am to play with the ideas of too many photos of Jess like capturing her in every way. Or break it down into images she both likes and hates and then ones I like and hate. Which to me is going to get repetitive as we have very similar taste in the images.
So going to my second tutorial with my other tutor I spoke about the problems I was having. And had narrowed down my Images with approximately 5 images from shoots I have done so far. This brought my images down to 64.. Not the ideal amount. And then to be told to get rid of half of them again.
To me I feel like I am wasting my images, which I know isn’t the case as even I would not want to look at a 400 page edit. That would be mad, I just realise I have to be critical and get rid of images that won’t help me in anyway. Just because I like the image does not mean it will fit into the sequence.
Now coming up to my last shoot for this project and Uni I feel totally mixed. On one hand I feel I could easily shoot for another couple of years and continue with the Uni life not ready for it to be over and responsibilities to start. But on the other hand it has been great being able to pull all my work together and show how much she has changed. And finally get uni over with as much fun as it has been. I feel ready to see it go now.
And in a way I have. I feel like You see this timid little girl at the start of my work when I was a scared fresher myself just learning to live on my own without my mum! And as the work progresses can see how Jess grows and how my work has also changed with it.
Jess and Rex.
No longer are we the people from first year. Which is leaving me nostalgic and sad to see both this project and both the people we have been go with it. It has been a tough project and shooting with Jess over the last few years. From one problem to another we have slowly always managed to get the work done. Though this year I like how much more confident she has become and that has allowed us to push the boat out on what we can do. Also that we have collaborated a lot more so this project is as much hers and mine.
But now a handful of weeks from the end, it really is hitting home that my degree is pretty much at an end. Making me dread this final upcoming shoot with Jess. Although one last studio session with her now she is so confident and daring with so many of her own ideas seems like a great way to end it. Will be sad to never get her into a studio again where she thrives so naturally now.
After this point, then the last hard part is up to me. To narrow down all the photos I have been collecting. And show Jessica’s almost full circle during my time at Uni now as this young beautiful women she has turned into.
In this next shoot we experimented with high key fashion ideas. Taken from a mood board created by my sister in preparation for this shoot. We wanted to look at something more vibrant and different from what we have done so far. This stays with the idealistic theme and adds more variety to the work.
These also not yet edited show the raw image that will soon be altered to match with the ideal version of who Jess wants to be. Which for my research will show the progression of who she wants to be in comparison to who she is in my other work.
All these images will slowly get selected down to create my final photo book and 3 main prints for my exhibition. I want the idealistic images to all be unique and vibrant. Just so you know what is beyond the ordinary and without the same realistic quality as the location style shots. I want to make her stand out in a unique way without any certain narrative to this section, just her in almost an individual identity with each studio shot in a new way that has her in one idealistic way in one way or another.
After my last shoot I wasn’t sure where to go with this one. So that is when me and my sister decided to collaborate on this one. I have needed more work belonging to the section about her ideal self and this shoot was dedicated to that idea about idealism.
This shoot was designed by Jess she picked colour and posed how she wanted to. We wanted to work on something that was about body image but very different to what we see in the everyday and past sections of this project. The contrast that comes through in my work now has shown me the development that I have been waiting for.
These images that are not yet post produced have began to give me an insight into the flow of the work. It is helping me to plan where my next shoot is going and how I want to present my work for my Final exhibition.
In the two images I have included the first looks at a more voyeuristic approach to the work. The female body in an over sexualised way which in modern social media is not uncommon now.
And the second image is one that has been seen before but we recreated finally after many mistimed attempts!! This image is almost symbolic for how she can be feeling in the last few years I have photographed her. It aligns with the idea of confusion and speed everything seems to move at that period of a persons life, Which is why I used the image.
Looking towards the middle section of my work I am wanting to show my sister as her ideal self. Incorporating what she wants to look like with ideas from what we see everyday. This section of my project is very influenced by her, she can be in control of the studio based practice.
We have been focusing a lot on body image and how she thinks she should look from lighting to poses we have considered many angles. I have been setting Jess tasks for the upcoming studio session to create mood boards and pick her own theme for the shoot. I want her to have the control over how she wants to look.
If she has control over the shoot then it really is about how she wants to look. It will shape to her body ideals, and how she wants to be seen and presented. Although this is a photo of Jess this isn’t her identity it is of her not about her.
She can put herself into whatever identity she wishes to have and it doesn’t matter she creates her own narrative of the idealistic self she chooses to portray. In this situation she can be vain and all about her body image. It’s her desires for herself she chooses to share with the audience which adds to my idea of every changing stages of her life.
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.
I have been looking at Jess outside of the studio as another way of incorporating the real her into my work. As my studio work was turning into an idealistic form of who she wants to be, not who she is. So I have categorised my work down to who she was, and she wants to be and who she really is. This development has helped my work a lot as now I can see a clearer structure to the work.
So this work I did in her home and my own. I wanted to capture her as she is in the comfort of her own environment. And now that she is in her first flat with her partner it gave me an opportunity to show the change she is going through. Now with her own sense of Independence and the maturity of her living situation coming through in my photographs.
I handed the camera over to her a couple of times to see what she would take, and she liked to focus on little things around her flat. But through that she caught time and death as a symbol. The idea her life at this stage is ever changing as one chapter ends another begins instantly, time is of little consequence to her everything is moving at a thousand miles an hour.
When I compare her now to how she has been the similarities are getting fewer. Although she is the same person she looks more grown up and confident than ever.
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.