a look back with a new perspective

Link to video:  https://vimeo.com/65949082

Artist’s Statement:

The idea for my DIY came from an email I received from my dad a few weeks ago with the subject line “I can’t believe this was a year a half ago”. Attached in the email was a video I made for the Fall Sports Assembly (featured in my DIY) during my senior year of high school. My dad, who coached me in all sports until high school, loves to engage in the nostalgia of father-son moments. While I enjoyed watching the old highlights I had put together for the fall sports, I was very confounded by the video as a whole. As we discussed in class last week, after you have taken a gender and sexuality class it is difficult to look at anything you see in media the same. I found this idea especially true as I watched this particular video, which both underappreciated the accomplishment of women’s soccer and carried an extreme bias for men’s football. Inspired to share what my “gender studies goggles” had seen, I dug up a variety of old high school videos and critiqued them according to ideals discussed in class.

The purpose of this project is to share my initial reaction to watching these videos after taking the class, and bring to light the influence of mainstream media on a setting like high school. The topics of bromance, male gaze, and objectification are all examples of concepts that came to mind when I re-watched the old videos.

In the same way that the art of vidding “heals the wounds created by the displacement and fragmentation of women on television” (Coppa), the critique of my own media creations allows me to contribute to the disapproval of hegemonic masculinity in society.

The creation of DIY as a whole is important because it voices issues that are often overshadowed by mainstream media. DIY creations give a genuine interpretation of issues and are not influenced by things like consumerism or other pressures mainstream media faces. With social media—which can turn a homemade video into global phenomenon overnight—DIY creations are becoming more influential. Increasing popularity in DIY project creations, especially with students, is a huge step for the recognition of topics that often go unexpressed.

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Humans and Machines: Exploring Tumblr-based fandoms

For my DIY project, I decided to make a Tumblr. Having never before used this medium, I was delving into unknown territory. I was shocked, impressed, and overwhelmed by what I found. The feature of “reblogging” means that a sense of community is created instantaneously and there are many references to Tumlr or “the fandom” as a community.

I knew that I wanted to analyze the several TV shows and their fandoms, but I was not sure which shows to choose. After looking at several “multi-verse” fan pages, I decided to choose Supernatural, Battlestar Galactica, and Firefly. I have watched all three of these shows, and so I am pretty familiar with the texts themselves and I had a vague idea of which themes I wanted to focus on. I was not expecting the size or voracity of the fandoms surrounding each show.

Initially I assumed that I would have to do a lot of uploading, screenshot-ing, Google image searching, and YouTube scouring in order to find content from the shows.

I was so wrong.

With just a few ‘tag’ searches, I was completely immersed in a whole new world. There is an overabundance of blogs devoted to each of these shows, and these blogs lead to countless ‘vids’ and fan fics. There are even cross-fandom vids and fics which ship characters from different shows. Clearly, Tumblr was the right choice for an exploration of these three fandoms. After some exploration, I settled on a theme. Technology play an important role in all three of the shows, as do narratives about humanity and what it means to be human.

In Supernatural, the Winchester brothers travel across the US in their black ’67 Chevy Impala, fighting demons and saving innocent human lives. Along the way, their own humanity is repeatedly challenged by things like demon possession.

The Impala, which the brothers inherited from their father, becomes their home and a symbol of their family. Within the Supernatural fandom the Impala, which Dean nicknames “Baby,” has become anthropomorphized as one of the show’s main characters.

In the world of Supernatural fanfics, Sam and Dean are often shipped with each other (creating ‘Wincest’), or Dean is shipped with the angel Castiel (‘Destiel’). There are also countless fanfics about the Impala being transformed into a human, usually a woman, who then proceeds to have a sexual relationship with Dean. I also found several fan fics where Dean has a sexual relationship with the Impala still in car form. Even when the interaction between the Impala and the Winchesters is not sexualized, it is still portrayed as very intimate.

In Firefly, the relationship between the crew and their “firefly-class” spaceship, Serenity, is similar to the Winchester/Impala relationship. While I did not find any sexualization of this relationship, Serenity is treated as part of the crew. When Captain Malcolm Reynolds first sees Serenity, it is ‘love at first sight’ and he is devoted to her ever after.

Battlestar Galactic offers a similar relationship between the crew and the antiquated Galactica that they call home. However, in Battlestar Galactica, the relationship between humans and technology is not a comfortable one, mostly because the Cylons have massacred most of the human population. Out of the three shows, Battlestar creates the most fascinating discourse about what it means to be human. All four seasons navigate and struggle with the definition of ‘human’ because the Cylons appear to be human in every way. They even feel emotions like humans and, throughout the show, it is revealed that there are cylon sleeper agents who think that they are human.

Model Number Six, played by Tricia Helfer, is constantly sexualized throughout the show and the fandom has some reaction to this. Posters depicting on of the more metallic cylons wearing Number Six’s trademark red dress draw attention to this sexualization and subtly mock it.

While creating this blog, “Nobody Puts Baby in a Corner,” I was struck by the interaction between the original texts and the fandoms. While Supernatural actively acknowledges its fan base, creating episodes and dialogue which reference fan culture, Battlestar Galactica does not. Since Firefly only lasted a season [and created a movie to wrap up loose ends], there was no chance for interaction with fans during the actual filming.

This type of interaction gives shows like Supernatural an aspect of DIY and participatory culture. In this way, a dialogue is created between fans and the show, mediated by platforms like Tumblr and through fan/media events. In the same way that zines are meant to be shared, Tumblr creates an environment where anyone can make their own zine-like blog which then becomes part of the Tumblr fandom community. Closely related to ‘vid’ culture, Tumblr fandoms seem to be primarily run by women. I found that the fandoms I examined do a lot of self-critiquing and exploration of subtexts (such as ‘Wincest’). Even through the extreme obsession and devotion to the shows, there is still a fair amount of criticism and evaluation coming from the fans.

“Nobody Puts Baby in a Corner”

P.S. I have one follower! Woohoo

Check Yourself Zine

KIC Document 0001-1

I made this zine as a way to let out some anger. I believe rage is some of the best inspiration, so I’ve taken advantage of a recent “conversation” that made me very angry. This encounter took place last Tuesday night at a party. After learning that I’m gay, this gem of a man (let’s call him Dick) apparently couldn’t believe his ears (or eyes). “YOU’RE GAY?” Dick proclaimed, “BUT YOU’RE SO HOT!” Dick went on to tell me that I probably just hadn’t had a good male lover yet and that he could “Make it rain.” I was, of course, more than a little appalled and angry but I stupidly tried to engage with him, tried to make his drunk ass understand just how fucked up his thinking was. My efforts were pretty pointless because of how intoxicated he was (and maybe how dense his head is?) and I ended up leaving with nothing resolved.

So this zine is very much a response to Dick and other Dicks (such as the Patriarchy we live in). I talk back to Dick directly, addressing him as “You.” This zine is an expression of my anger. It’s personal. Everyday I’m horrified by our racist, sexist society and this zine provided a wonderful opportunity to talk back to a few mainstream assumptions. It’s cynical and sassy and angry.

Big Tits

What Are Big Tits?

Artist’s Statement

I was reluctant to talk about this issue for a long time because of how girls, in particular, responded to it. This issue of having “big boobs” is viewed by so many as a privilege. Yeah, I could buy alcohol without getting carded when I was 15, but I also have to pay about 70 dollars for a sports bra that fits. There are definitely trade-offs. The bigger issue, however, is that these girls who were 15 wanted to have huge boobs so that they would be taken more seriously, look older, attract more 15 year old boys, etc. They wanted big boobs so that they would be better equipped to play the game of being a woman in a patriarchic society, as media portrayals of boobs are as these incredibly sexualized objects used to ascend in the power structure of patriarchy while simultaneously perpetuating it. In my DIY project, I aim to introduce a new perspective of boobs—not as sexual power tools, just as boobs.

In my internet zine, I chose my words very carefully in an attempt to use sexual language while creating a tone that is anything but sexual. I call my boobs my tits, not because I like the abrasive connotations of the word, but because I want to emphasize that they are just a pair of tits—they don’t symbolize my status in society, and my cup size doesn’t say anything about me or the rest of my body. I don’t want to call them breasts, like they are a piece of white poultry meat, and I won’t be coy about how I refer to my rack just because media in the patriarch has come up with so many clever terms for regarding this part of my body as sexual. Women like Kim Kardashian and Audrina Patridge have gained their status in society by accepting their role as sexualized objects, but as we’ve seen recently in the case of Kim Kardashian’s pregnancy, these women receive so little respect from society without the physical attributes that made them famous. It is so incredibly frustrating to me that “boobs” are so important to everyone because of the role that they play in a woman’s status.

A famous sociologist Jean Baudillard theorized that the only way to fight against mainstream was to do something that wouldn’t be reproduced by the media for massive consumption. In support of this theory, I think DIY projects are so important because they introduce new ideas into a relatively safe place where mass consumption isn’t the goal and messages and intentions are less likely to be distorted. I wanted the voice in my project to be aggressive, but I wanted the portrayal to be simple. I think that the almost mild medium of a zine (that basically just looks like a blog post) challenges the voice that media pretends to give women by using my words rather than images and being straightforward in the message I want to convey.  I don’t want my DIY project to be directed at mainstream product’s audiences—it isn’t a mainstream idea, and it’s not something I think can be changed overnight. I want it to be discussed among those willing to discuss, and I want it to be known more than I want it to be advertised.

Don’t Box Me In

The media places us in boxes and those boxes can be problematic as they allow others to define who we are rather for us to define ourselves. The media places us in boxes through celebrities––celebrities exemplify the “ideal” individual. While compiling photographs for my zine I was struck by the homogeneous nature of the photographs––while I was looking at over ten queer celebrities there were so many commonalities between their style and portrayal. For my zine, I decided to show the problematic nature of boxes by taking photographs of queer (and some not queer) celebrities and queer media icons and placing them in boxes. Generally, the opposite is true: the media, through celebrities puts us in boxes so that consumers can assimilate to the “celebrity norm” which creates unreal perceptions of gender and sexuality. I find the concept of boxes fascinating––especially the role that the media plays in creating such boxes. What would happen with out the media’s creation of boxes and what would happen if the people creating the boxes were average human beings? These are the questions that I explore in my zine.

I started by placing myself in a box––contrasting how I see myself and then how the media/society sees me. Today, boxes have become such a prevalent part of our life. The media has trained us to look at a person and immediately place their gender and sexuality into boxes based on a quick glance or short conversation. Through the clear depiction of such boxes, I am talking back to the media and society and showing the harms of placing people in boxes.

With the exception of Miley Cyrus, who is not queer, and Missy Higgins all of the celebrities I show have released statements publicly defining their sexuality. I chose to include Miley Cyrus because I think she appropriates queer representation in her style (this statement puts her in a box and therefore it is an exceptionally interesting example of the prevalence of boxes!) Missy Higgin’s sexuality has been the topic of many conversations––some of her songs allude to the possibility that she is singing about her feelings for other women but she has not publicly affirmed or denied these speculations. I think that these two examples show the problems of ––they allow others to define you thereby taking away some of your agency.

By taking queer celebrities and placing them in boxes highlights the gender binary––you are either masculine or feminine and anything in between is too confusing to be portrayed in the media. This is the problem of boxes––you are either one or the other. Boxes are straight and rigid but people are complex and flexible. The boxes that exist are infinite and they are incredibly problematic. While I am doing the same thing that the media does in placing these celebrities into boxes, I hope that by compiling a zine of photographs and boxes it will show how boxes limit a person’s ability to be themselves; both by ascribing an identity onto them and by limiting their choices. This is what the media does to all queer people and so I want to throw this back onto celebrities to show the problems of stereotypes and boxes. This zine is meant to empower queer women to be themselves, to create their own identity rather than to assimilate to society’s exceptions.

In writing this zine, I hope to satirize the boxes that are created by society and the media. I am putting the celebrities into boxes but I am doing so in an over the top manner which I hope highlights the problematic and two dimensional labels that are ascribed by society.

The DIY culture allows me to do this and to share my thoughts on gender and sexuality and how that relates to identity. The nature of zines lets me tell my story and share my thoughts. Authors of the zine Off the Map say it well, “For some of us, zines are more accessible, more inviting; they tempt the reader to tell her own stories, to see that the author (or authors) are no heroines, no experts, but just people, just kids telling it like they see it, and live it” (7). I am no expert on boxes but here are my thoughts… I hope that they inspire you to think critically about queer representation and portrayal in the media. Enjoy!

Don’t Box Me In

The Hairy Pit – Jessica Lawrence and Maya Abramson

 

Our purpose of creating The Hairy Pit is to talk back to post-feminist magazines, particularly Cosmopolitan, with an exaggerated feminist voice. We re-purposed clippings from two Cosmopolitan issues to not only mock Cosmo’s messages but also to create new messages of our own. In this way, The Hairy Pit exposes the ridiculous objectification of women and commercialization of beauty in post-feminist magazines like Cosmo. Though The Hairy Pit follows the same template as Cosmo, it falls on the opposite end of the spectrum, highlighting the absurdity of “Hippie culture.” Furthermore, The Hairy Pit pokes fun at the “formula” of how to be a women (as told by women’s magazines): 1) Look and act sexy, 2) Please your man, 3) Buy shit.

We address this formula in The Hairy Pit by putting a minimalist spin on each of these three requirements. On the front cover, we used a photo of Eva Mendes, proudly showing off her natural body hair, in response to the “look and act sexy” requirement. Body hair is basically non-existent in ideal constructions of female beauty and the contemporary world of fashion. In The Hairy Pit, we encourage women to appreciate their natural bodies with our segment entitled “GO TOPLESS: Why Being Naked Fuels Your Soul”. Here, we send a message that beauty is not a product you can purchase.

Frankly, The Hairy Pit does not care about pleasing your man. In the “Who Cares” section, we took articles from Cosmo including “I Crashed a Wedding With a Hot Stranger”, “Guys Talk L-O-V-E”, and “Is That Dude Nude?” and asked the reader to question whether or not these things matter. This is a playful yet feminist call to action, informing women that a hot man does not equal a happy or successful life. In another segment titled “4 Scents Guys Can’t Resist” (an actual Cosmo title), we reversed gender norms by listing the scents of a woman who is not concerned with pleasing her man. Furthermore, two of our entries (“Girl” and “Find Your Inner Goddess”) focus on self-discovery and self-liberation – without any connection to “finding the right man.”

The Hairy Pit also plays into DIY culture – sans additional costs. Two articles, “Rejuvenation in a Jar” and “Craft of the Week: Dreamcatchers,” give readers the opportunity to create homemade projects out of items they can find in their homes or backyards. Though we dramatize the “hippie culture” (i.e. adding dirt to your smoothie, “gathering nature’s vines,” etc.), we reinforce the fact that most “DIY” projects in women’s magazines necessitate the act of buying supplies, instead of using raw materials. While Cosmopolitan appeals to women who have lots of spending money, The Hairy Pit might appeal to women who are more sustainable.

Our zine is the most effective way to address absurd, post-feminist magazines because it emulates what a normal Cosmopolitan might look like. DIY is important because it gives underrepresented communities the opportunity to express their frustration with top-down media in a cheap and creative way. Furthermore, though these communities are excluded from mainstream culture, they can gain a sense that their voice matters, knowing that their creations can be read and appreciated by like-minded individuals. Even though DIY productions may not reach a broad audience, they can empower individuals to challenge the current state of the media.

Obviously, The Hairy Pit is just as extreme as Cosmo, albeit in a very different way. We are not trying to suggest that The Hairy Pit is a positive alternative to post-feminist magazines. Both magazines prescribe a specific lifestyle for women, without leaving room for personal expression and choice. In both Cosmo and The Hairy Pit, women are given step by step instructions on how achieve ideal womanhood. However, by showing an intersection of two extreme portrayals of femininity in one magazine (post-feminist vs. Au natural) we show how the media dictates what it means to be a woman. DIY culture gives women of all sexualities, nationalities, and lifestyles the opportunity to define themselves.

The Hairy Pit

Skins and sexuality

DIY projects have the ability to bring up issues that might be missed when just simply consuming media. In general, through DIY it is possible to see the views of just people, not huge corporations. They are also not money-driven, which changes the overall feeling. Since they are not trying to profit from their ideas, it allows for much more creativity and expression that is not present in other media. These projects can say anything they want to, which is quite different than other sources. In addition, the people making them are often actually “fans of the visual source” rather than just people critiquing the source (Coppa). Specifically, vidding is used to “comment on or analyze a set of preexisting visuals, to stage a reading, or occasionally to use the footage to tell new stories” while the “music is used as an interpretive lens to help the viewer to see the source text differently” (Coppa). This perspective is crucial in understanding the way that media is viewed by the viewer, not simply by other media. Watching a vid or another DIY type project gives a person insight into what the viewer is actually seeing when they consume this media. Rather than offering a biased and traditional interpretation of media, vids and other projects have free-rein to do whatever they wish to do.

For my DIY project, I decided to create a fan vid of the British T.V series, Skins. The show follows a group of teenagers in Bristol, England during their last two years of high school (sixth form). A different group of these students is followed each two seasons, showing the events of their lives through each person’s eyes. My vid specifically focused on four of the characters from the first two seasons of the show, and their relationships. The four characters that I focus on are Tony, Michelle, Sid and Cassie (with more emphasis on the first three). For those who do not watch the show, Tony and Sid are best friends, and have been for a long time. Michelle is Tony’s on and off again girlfriend, who Sid is notoriously in love with. Cassie, however, is a friend of Michelle’s who is introduced to Sid, and seems to capture some of his attention, and eventually his love. I wanted to address the issue of teenage sexuality with this vid, and how it is viewed in the show, as well as the idea of hook-up culture and the shift from traditional romance to this new version of relationships. I thought a vid would be able to express this idea well, as it can clearly compile some key moments of the show into one short video in order to get a certain point across. I think I was able to display an interesting view of the ideas of the show from my perspective as a fan, and it is more effective than simply writing a response.

This idea came to me while I was thinking of what we had talked about in class over the semester, and our discussions of Twilight popped into my head. We discussed what it was that drew people, particularly women, into the story, and came to the conclusion that a large part of it was the appeal of old-fashioned romance, and the moments leading up to the actual sex, rather than the sex itself. One thing that I found particularly interesting about Skins was that it is from the same time period as Twilight, and attracts its fair share of viewers, while depicting quite a different side of romanticism. In this video, using certain clips in combination with the song Blood Sugar Sex Magyk by the Red Hot Chili Peppers, I attempted to show their complicated relationships, and the highly sexualized nature of the characters (particularly Michelle). This depiction is a reflection of the idea that society seems to have of youth culture, and how it is seen as “slutty” and promiscuous. I wanted to also create a display of the contrast between traditional romance and hook-up culture, and how it seems to further complicate the issues between the friends. I specifically chose Skins due to the subject matter of the show, and the fact that it addresses these issues, along with many more issues pertaining to teenage culture. In this vid, I was trying to show the idea of how teenagers are often depicted as being promiscuous in media using Michelle, who does seem to have a lot of sexual experiences with different characters (although not an obscene amount) and Tony, who does the same, and contrast it with Sid and Cassie, who do not. Sid is fairly monogamous in the show, but does harbor some desire for Michelle, even when dating Cassie. The song, along with the specific video clips, was chosen to represent this desire between all of the characters, but particularly of Sid to Michelle, and Michelle to Tony. Eventually, this desire does create a mess of their relationships, but I included the clip at the very end to show that it does not always determine who they turn out to be.

Bibliography

Coppa, Francesca. 2008. Women, Star Trek, and the early development of fannish vidding. Transformative Works and Cultures, no. 1.

Defining Beauty

For this project I wanted to expose the ways in which the media defines female beauty. I chose to do so through People Magazine’s website, people.com by creating a Tumbler consisting of pictures of female celebrities who are thought to embody the qualities that are considered to be beautiful in society. I have always been interested in the lives of celebrities. I am also, although I wish I was not, an active follower of the articles and photos posted on People.com.

People.com consists of photos of celebrities with their families, on location, at various primaries or events, style albums and many more. Through People.com, female celebrities are depicted in an unrealistic way, as celebrities represent a small pool of people who have unlimited financial resources. They are shown to be essentially flawless human beings. They appear to have it all: a family, a relationship, a successful career, and are, of course, beautiful all the time. Although pressured by the media, female celebrities are rarely shown looking anything but happy. Due to the fact that female celebrities are constantly revered in society because of their physical appearance, women grow up with predetermined notions of what it means to be beautiful in American society. Magazines like People uphold unattainable, unrealistic notions of female beauty.

DIY allowed me to express and share my thoughts about the website I visit on a daily basis. Through this Tumbler page, I hope to reveal the problematic ways in which the media, specifically People Magazine, commodities women and reinforces notions of female beauty by idealizing (and scrutinizing) female celebrities. What really made me want to pursue this project was an album on People.com that depicted women with “unconventional” features. The purpose of the album was to point out that despite their unique features, these women are still beautiful. It instead reproduced socially constructed notions of female beauty by singling out the few female celebrities who do not possess flawless, perfect features in an attempt to tell women that it is okay not to be perfect. Thus, after reading Piepmeier’s article, I wanted to create some sort of collection of photos that are most commonly found on People.com to illustrate the problematic scenario that it promotes regarding the ideal female body and beauty.  I used this Tumbler page  to “…comment on mainstream culture” regarding America’s fascination with celebrities (Piepmeier 30). To do so, I included images of celebrity family photo albums, work out fashions, voting on hairstyles and clothes, pregnant bodies, summer bikini bodies, quotes from men about why their wives are beautiful and more. Thus, these categories expose the ways in which People contributes to socially constructed notions of female beauty.

Link: http://katiemdouglas.tumblr.com/#

The “Independent” Veronica Mars

https://vimeo.com/65931658

The television show, Veronica Mars, revolves around the teenage Veronica Mars who is private investigator. She is supposed to be a strong, independent woman who doesn’t put up with anyone. Since she has become ostracized at her school following events before the show airs, she was forced to toughen up and take solace in being alone. She is the only person who challenges the bullies of her school and she doesn’t let the little things get to her, unlike most high school students. In this way, she is exemplifies an independent woman. Even as a private investigator, when she goes on cases, she prefers to do them alone – no matter how dangerous. Veronica is known for her having a mind of her own and doing things her own way, to the chagrin of authority figures. However, as Veronica goes through the motions of solving cases she regularly finds herself in life-threatening situations. This causes a large disconnect with her independent persona, because every time she gets herself into these problems there is a man to save and protect her, mostly her father or her boyfriend.

I am using a vid to argue this exact disconnect. I thought it was important to point out that a show awarded for it’s portrayal of independent women falls into the same gender trap of most shows, having men save women. I really wanted to reveal this disconnect because most people do not see it, even Kristen Bell (the actress who plays Veronica Mars) has said, “I loved Veronica right off the bat. She was so strong and I think it is so important because there are so few shows that portray women, especially young women as being strong and being able to stand up for themselves.” I do not think that I could have made this argument as strong if I did not use the method of a vid, or more specifically a songvid. The visuals of a vid allow the viewer to see Veronica Mars act independent and, conversely, only being saved by a man. As Francesca Coppa explains, “in vidding, the fans are fans of the visual source, and music is used as an interpretive lens to help the viewer to see the source text differently. A vid is a visual essay that stages an argument.” The contradicting songs (and lyrics) of the vid supplemented the corresponding visuals nicely, enabling the viewer to see how Veronica is both independent and dependent. I decided to use dialogue at the beginning of the vid and at the transition of songs to show that Veronica tried to hold on to her independence but with her boyfriend’s want to protect her and her commonly found in dangerous situations, the stereotypical male heroics beat out her female independence.

Behind Closeted Doors

Image

 

 

Behind Closeted Doors 

 

I took pictures of 14 different closets, belonging to both men and women. The lowest age of an owner is 19, the highest age is 57, most were in their 20s. The purpose of this exercise was to display the least seen part of the most private room in the house, the bedroom closet. 

 

In a way, the closet is where our perceptions of a person start; the way we dress is often the first thing people see. When an individual wakes up in the morning, they put on items that seem to change them. A naked person is harder to identify than you think; we recognize people by the way they dress. I hoped to show that a closet is a closet is a closet, and no matter how different we perceive people to be, the places they start their mornings are largely the same. Though they are individualized, these photos are extremely similar, almost all of them have a rack for hangers, a place for shoes, some sort of miscellaneous shelving. Most of them have dirty laundry. In fact, that was the biggest concern people had, “I’m sorry it’s so messy.” Oddly enough, I walked into houses that were disgusting, and rooms that were in disarray, but for some reason everyone was most concerned about the little hole in the corner of the room where they kept their cloths. 

 

I chose not to include dormitories in piece, though I did photograph several dorm closets. Dorms are all essentially the same, with the same obvious organizational methods and very not individualized closets. Though many of the dorm photos were interesting, I wanted to find out what people did when they had free reign. 

 

Gender has long influenced clothing choice. Though with men we see collared shirts and suits on hangers, and the women own dresses and shoes, the closets they reside in are all pretty neutral. It is not difficult however to guess which closet is masculine or feminine, even without looking closely. There is no singular way to tell, some women have many fewer cloths than men, some men have bright clothing. As individuals, we have drastically different styles, but for some reason, the gender of our closet is always obvious. That simple fact is why I chose to explore the medium. What makes it so easy to tell? In asked people, everyone correctly identified a gender for each photo, even with just a cursory glance. Though these photos look much the same, gender was still somehow conveyed. That mystery is extremely intriguing, what makes us gendered? Nothing, and everything. The strange truth of this project is that our identity, for better or worse, is in many ways attached to our closet. Maybe that’s why people were so concerned about it’s cleanliness. 

 

 

Thanks for a great class!