The beginning of my Photography domain.
With the power artefact a very clear message is wanted to be put across to an audience. Which very broadly put was to showcase the power within the body, and more specifically the power of women. This is exhibited with the use of a collaboration of photographs took of a woman in the obvious ‘power poses’, ones of which are more stereotypically used by men. In order to go against the said ‘stereotype’ of women in this artefact and portray them as powerful and self-righteous, almost taking the way men are shown within the media industry but showing this power though the body of a woman.
The basis of this idea being the ‘Power of Women’ came from resources such as; articles on the internet and images seen that are frequently used in magazines. Generally the way in which women are represented in the media is as ‘objects’ they are ‘objectified’, they are either on one side of the spectrum which is vulnerable or being sold as some sort of a sex symbol.
Everyone is aware of the stereotypes put on to women within the media, whether it be in television, film, magazines etc. and they are consumed by audience’s every day. The media industry have engraved a specific image of the perfect woman in that they are; thin, typically white and constantly own this perfect persona, full face of make-up and dressed beautifully from head to toe.
The piece showcases different aspects of the woman’s body in, ‘power poses’ some mocked by research took, one photo in particular being from the Second World War. This poster is iconic in many ways, as it sets the mark to when the world as such, knew women could hold just as much power as men whether it was in different aspects of life. It in itself argues a different type of women, the one in which we mostly see today. It portrays a strong, independent woman who obtains a certain amount of control, who is wearing tradesman clothing and not dressed in a dress and heels.
‘The gaze is male whenever it directs itself at, and takes pleasure in, women, where women function as erotic objects’.
Stated by Laura Mulvey, in relation to women’s representation in the media today is that of a male’s fantasy. For example in magazines or advertisements aimed at males, there is focus on specific body parts rather than looking at the woman as a whole. This is reflected on in the ‘Power Artefact’, the same general body parts are photographed but in a more powerful and strong way in the way they are positioned and posed.
Further relating to body image is a clip on Mail Online, showcases the effects of Photoshop used to make a woman more beautiful.
This puts more into perspective the images used in the ‘Power Artefact’, as they are ones that haven’t been tampered with as they wanted to be as close to the real thing as humanly possible. As shown in the video linked above, it shows all the techniques used within the programme of Photoshop to make the model appear to be more aesthetically appealing than her true self. The collection of photos in this piece are as real as possible, if they were to use the likes of Photoshop to improve them, it would deteriorate the message expressed above that is trying to be put across.
With these elements used it counters a negative outlook on the media industry, in that they further objectify these women to represent the ‘perfect women’ when indeed she is in no means to even exist. This further causes implications of women’s representation in the media, as it can effect girl’s body image and rise issues such as anorexia.
These efforts to counter a negative representation of women in the media both limit and indeed empower the women and girls in society. As icons they are perceived to look up to be either; sexual objects or show some sort of vulnerability. The ‘Power Within’ artefact uses a collaboration of still ages and short moving frames that can represent a more diverse and positive image to that of a woman.
Mail Online Article