You only have to look at me or any of my work to see that I enjoy being a girl. I am stereotypically feminine and I have always loved that aspect of my personality. I have always dressed in such a manner because ‘I’ like the way it looks, ‘I’ like the way it feels, it has never been for the benefit or pleasure of anyone else, least of all for the sexual attention of a man. Perhaps I am naïve to believe I can look overly feminine and not be classed as a sexual object, but realise in recent years that that is what I have become, or always been. I look back throughout my life and realise that I have a very negative attitude towards my body image, and if I dig even further I realise that none of the negative feelings reside internally, all of them stem from the seeds planted there by others. I’m not talking about the odd school yard jibe or tussle, because everyone knows children are cruel at times and I’m sure everyone has had something said to them at some point or other. I’m talking about later on in a girl’s life, the time they grow parts of themselves that seem to later define them to others, breasts that are the first thing people see instead of your face or personality. In my own life I have found that men outside of my own safe family environment, have been a huge issue for me regarding my image, and can honestly say my negative feelings have come as a direct result of dating, or ‘love’ if you like. I’m sure like more girls I have made some terrible decisions, and although all were absolute swine’s in one way or another, not all of them directly said anything about my image. Some however did, resulting in my body becoming my enemy, I look on this fact and feel quite sad that something which is mine, something I should be proud of, love and respect has been used against me.
How do you reclaim that? I still have negative feelings regarding callous comments made by people I don’t even care about anymore.
How do I make light of something with has turned my body into this hand grenade forced down my throat by the insecurity and hatred of others?
As always I plan to use comedy, I plan to use the persona of clown to deal with this issue, to look at people who celebrate and exaggerate femininity and glorify it to the extreme,, ironically this attitude comes in the form of a male, that of the drag queen. The Drag celebrates everything stereotypically feminine; it mocks yet glorifies the female form. I plan to take on this exaggerated form, to both celebrate myself as a woman who ‘should’ love her body, by exaggerating my features, yet also mocking the seeds of doubt that objectified these features in the first place, Through celebrating my body my placing exaggerated reference to the parts that others have tried to use against me. I will take this to yet another level of absurdity by making myself into a four legged lady, or ‘circus freak’ to further press the issue of how I myself, and many other women have been made to feel due to others never seeing past our bodies.
The work shall feature musical performances, parody advertisements regarding the body featuring ridiculous items you can buy to ‘change’ your body (just in case it isn’t good enough for that extra special someone) and of course lots of costumes and makeup.
By using my body to exaggerate myself and mock outside negativity I will not only be reclaiming my body but hopefully reaching out to other women who can relate to this issue and making people laugh in the process. Because after all isn’t laughter always the best medicine?