The insecurities with our bodies were carefully crafted.
Methodically thought and examined
Planned by control and greed
-and carved from the skins of the girls we once were.
In this wearable jewelry art series, I studied media trends and how they shape women’s ideal bodies. I studied those body trends I have grown as a woman in; the heroin chic in the 90’s, 2000’s “slim thic” body type, and the over-exaggerated hourglass figure of the 2010’s. A lot of the body types are not achievable for the majority of women without plastic surgery, or cosmetic enhancement of some sorts.
I studied aging, social media trends, plastic surgery, and different kinds of procedures that we do to our bodies in the endless chase as we try to keep up with the unachievable figures, that we are told are the norm. I got very interested in injectables, even 20-year-olds are doing botox and fillers now. We are told this is "preventative botox", as in women actually aging would somehow defeat the whole purpose of even living. A woman with wrinkles who looks their age is deemed less worthy than one who has ‘kept up’ with their appearances.
But in the chase of eternal youth, we often are too quick to jump in the bandwagon of what we are told will be the ‘quick fix’ to all our 'aging problems'. Fillers do not leave the body during the natural processes of our bodies renewing itself (a lie we were told multiple times in the media), instead they stay inside our skin. I was left pondering in my works a lot of the co-habitation between fillers and skin; fillers migrate, they form masses under the skin that makes the skin sag from the weight. Botox can discolor skin, and it thins skins, which both age us prematurely, not prevent our looks from aging.
As fashion does, women’s bodies also go through cycles of what is currently ‘in’. We are constantly told how to appear perfect according to whatever body trend is in the media. Thin has never gone out of fashion, but we can once again see how the heroin chic from the 90’s is making its comeback. And a lot of women in their thirties are having war flashbacks.
The governing of women’s bodies is a lucrative business not just with the money it generates, but also because insecure women are women who are easier to oppress.
All pictures by the artist. This work was done with a 6-month grant with the support from Arts Promotion Centre Finland (TAIKE)