Manipulated (video) was exhibited in the 101st Annual Student Exhibition in the Fred Jones Jr. Museum of art in January of 2015 and shown at the Fred Jones Jr. Museum of Art student screening, Magic Lantern.
This project is featured on a number of different websites including Hellogiggles.com, Bustle.com, and aplus.com, amassing several hundred thousand views.
Manipulated is a multi-media project containing a looped video and five images.
Women are expected to be beautiful, but what exactly qualifies as beauty? Beauty is defined as “the combination of all the qualities of a person or thing that delight the senses and please the mind.” The idealization of beauty has evolved countless times throughout history, going through periods of plump, curvy figures to stick-thin waifs and continues to change from person to person. The series titled “Manipulated” depicts four girls that have been digitally manipulated to fit the typical standards of beauty from four different time periods in western civilization, illustrating how drastically the perception of beauty can change throughout time. The self-portrait video loop works in conjunction with these photographs to depict my own struggle with beauty and how my perceptions change throughout a much shorter period of time.
The work is a commentary on not only these unrealistic idealizations of beauty, but also the women’s desire to be attractive. The women in these photographs and video have an unnerving and unreal quality created by digital manipulation of the body shape, skin and hair, demonstrating how many women will go through great lengths (starving themselves, undergoing cosmetic plastic surgery, removing hair, etc.) to modify their natural body and achieve what society believes is beautiful.
The video loop is a stop motion self-portrait created by combining roughly 126 digitally manipulated photos that create the illusion that I am molding my body like modeling clay. The video goes through several stages of “beauty” as I receive conflicting opinions on what true beauty is. As I go back and forth, I end on my natural body and the video starts over.
This looped animation illustrates the effects media and public opinions have on the way we look at ourselves. I have chosen to use myself in this short to show my own inner conflict with beauty as I battle with the desire to look like someone else and the acceptance of my natural beauty.