Project info

MISShapes is a critique on the media misrepresentation of the female “social” body in contemporary society. The commercial campaigns of the beauty and dieting industry in the 1980s and 1990s imposed unrealistic standards of thinness and beauty on contemporary women in first-world countries. As countries become more cosmopolitan and westernized, so grows the cult of thinness. Within that sort of commercialization and commoditisation of the female body, there is also a proliferation of imagery –particularly in advertising - which fragments the body, takes it apart. There is a relentless focus on the body parts; as if identity is defined as being the body. Symptoms of this malign narcissism include the incidence of unhealthy dieting, a myriad of eating disorders, body dysmorphic disorder, and depression. This cult of thinness generates body anxiety which in turn has opened up a market for self-esteem that is being exploited by the image driven mass media. Thus, there is a circularity where women are ‘sold back’ to themselves.