ART 576: Publishing Photography Book
Digital Prints; 24″ x 30″
This series is exploiting a modern form of sexism that I see going unnoticed. The lines between society’s defined roles for men and women are blurring more everyday. Women are supported in their choice to trade in the part of housekeeper for pursuit of education and careers, and men are not shamed for staying home with the children instead of being the sole breadwinner; if who wears the ‘pants’ in the family is now shared and gender neutral, why are they still the men’s pants?
Current marketing is inhibiting women the opportunity to dress in comfortable, neutral clothing while remaining feminine and identifying her style as such. “The Boyfriend,” an advertising campaign used by Gap, Old Navy, Target, and others to sell better fitting clothing to women; the label spans from pants and shirts to socks and underwear. Women were already taking to the men’s section for better fitting pants and tops which is an outcry to the fault in women’s clothing construction and design, not a desire to look like our male counterparts.
Thus, a new line just for women was produced, it’s clothing that fits looser and is more comfortable but instead of delivering to women a mentality that they’re still feminine even if the clothes don’t cling to every curve, the marketing continues to endorse a woman’s success based on her sexuality. By calling this new style “The Boyfriend,” femininity is only reassured by glamorizing these clothes with the assimilation of being a girl who has just had a sleepover with her man and threw on his clothes that morning. The goal is to look too small and petit for these garments. The advertising fulfills a socially constructed mentality that a woman in a relationship is a woman who has value, that a person’s sexuality is a determinant of identity. Unknowingly women are endorsing their own gender’s regression from equality by wearing these clothes and seeing themselves as in borrowed clothing, men’s clothing.
This project has the goal of reaching women and alerting men of the segregating effects of “The Boyfriend” campaign. With 21st Century’s male inclusive feminism, the degradation of women’s equality can be resolved. The works of art selected for this show have been selected with two intentions in mind, reversing the female in male clothing gives both genders an opportunity to see this sexism reversed and the skin/body as an identity that defines our societal role. The purpose of these two intentions is to neutralize and find the common ground.