For my series, Outside Eyes I wanted to examine the relationship between personal body image and societal views. I shot half of this series using a mannequin and the other half as self-portrait to juxtapose reality with the perceived. This series is a personal examination of my identity as a woman and society’s impact on how I perceive myself and how others perceive me.
To create these images I scratched and burned the negatives in order to give them a destroyed look, I wanted to further explore this topic by working through the process of destroying and creating. I also include hand written text in order to further communicate my personal ideas and experiences. I decided to shoot this series in intimate domestic settings to further describe the idea of women as the homemaker and place myself and the mannequin in everyday settings and situations. I wanted to combine these somewhat ambiguous everyday settings with unusual imagery to pull them out of context. I added elements including the grocery bag to not only add to the idea of women as homemakers but to also give the feeling of wanting to hide. I also convey this idea with the paint spread across my face and back in order to conceal my identity.
With this series I also wanted to challenge female representation in the media and examine the impact of the male gaze through photography. To describe the tension between media based images and reality I compare my body with the mannequin’s. In some of the images I place the mannequin in somewhat erotic positions to convey the objectification of women. Juxtaposing reality with the perceived, the mannequin is the vision of the perfect woman, matching society’s body standards while also being a complacent object to be dressed and undressed. I compare this imagery with photographs of my own body in slightly more modest positions, which imply the way I have been treated, objectified and harassed in my own life because of these harmful perceptions.