About the Project
“With store-bought clothes, the body has to fit instantaneously into standard sizes that were constructed from a pattern representing a norm.”
-Joan Jacobs Brumberg, The Body Project: An Intimate History of American Girls.
Authors like Joan Jacobs Brumberg and Naomi Wolf have written extensively on how beauty standards influence women’s views of themselves, especially in the early stages of development. Both discuss how women are measured against idealized images of perfection, which are dictated by patriarchal power structures and economic motivators. As my artwork turns to this subject, and I explore how specific childhood experiences influence my understanding of my body, I am curious about how other women have internalized these unrealistic standards.
As an overweight child, I was constantly aware of my body size and shape. When I was learning my numbers, I learned that “6” was marked on the tag of my clothes, and sometimes it had an “x” after it. Even then I wanted to “fit” into a smaller number, and I certainly didn’t want the “x.” This memory is recalled every time I go shopping for clothes and has left me curious about how other women read their clothing tags.
The posts on this blog illustrate (in no particular order) a variety of personal and intimate thoughts and feelings about body image. In sharing these responses, I am hoping that we can begin to rethink the way we are marked by this culture’s systems for measuring women’s bodies. Please feel free to leave comments and feedback, as this project unfolds and we continue to learn.
I am extremely grateful to all of you who participated: your insights are deeply appreciated. And, thank you to those who helped me to bring this project from its formative stages into this, its final (?) presentation.