Following on from my previous post regarding ‘porn chic’ in the beauty industry, I began to develop a range of spread which would make up an editorial feature, being predominantly image-led with subtle, yet to the point copy, allowing for the reader to think about the association being made.
Below shows the initial design development, using cropped images from well-known/famous beauty bloggers’ Instagram account to showcase how glamour and sex are now being used to promote their accounts via social media. These spreads once created aesthetically reminded me of the controversial American Apparel campaigns utilising similar cropped visuals and minimal, yet key text. This objectification of women has been used for fashion advertising for years, and these spreads now aim to show how self-objectification is on the rise in order to gain followers and ‘likes’, whether this be for professional, career purposes or to boost self-esteem between this. An example of this can also be seen below.
Image Source: last accessed 19th May 2017.
Furthermore, I also see bloggers such as these promoting themselves as an object, and how an object becomes an icon and how an icon can be seen as an object respectively. This is what the Objectification and Self-Objectification theories pose, with Fredrickson and Roberts (1998) stated that, “women’s bodies are looked at, evaluated and always potentially objectified” allowing one to consider that a woman may not actually be seen as a human by some, and just a commodity to evaluate and objectify, allowing for women to “internalise an observer’s perspective as a primary view of their physical selves” suggesting that one may then “monitor” themselves and react to these perspectives, making them “socialised to view and turn themselves in objects”.
In addition, this objectification and self-objectification can also be sexual, allowing for Sexual-Objectification to arise predominantly. Combined pressures of trying to maintain an image or promote oneself via social media using these theoretical channels and visual paths, can allow for negative impacts to arise such as mental health issues, eating disorders and and self-perception issues, with one potentially viewing themselves from a third person perspective (i.e. based on the followers or likes received per image, in this instance the cropped images used on the editorial spreads), opposed to a first person perspective, tainting their thoughts and therefore actions. This aim to change our bodies due to judgements, perceptions and objectification can alter the way we see ourselves hugely, with ’empirical’ studies showing that “women experience a discrepancy between their actual body and their ideal body” (Fallon & Rozin, 1984).
After looking at the spreads again a week or so after designing them, I decided to take off ‘porn chic’ from each spread, and to include an introductory spread titling the feature and giving a brief and to the point summary of its content, allowing it to be understand visually but also with context for those who may b unaware of previous examples of this in the fashion and beauty industries, and for those who are not also aware of the surrounding theoretical perspective which underpin this design work.
Fredrickson, B & Roberts, T (1998). Objectification Theory. Psychology of Women, 22: Printed in the United States of America. 173-176.
Noll, S & Fredrickson, B (1998). Objectification Theory. Psychology of Women, 22: Printed in the United States of America. 626-627