Uni Summer Project – Perception of Beauty

I spoke about one of the ideas I had for my uni summer project in this post https://artreviewed.wordpress.com/2012/06/16/uni-summer-project-2/ but apart from briefly thinking about it have not really done anything more to it since.  But, I have found these 2 articles in the Guardian which have got me thinking about this topic again.




Both articles talk about perceptions of beauty, one in a ‘lads mag, sexy’ way and the other in the way of perceived body image.  I am quite interested in both of these articles as they talk about women and the pressures on them to look a certain way.

I’m not sure how I am going to work these articles into my work, or if I shall use them at all, but they have both got me thinking about what beauty is.  Is is a commercially conceived idea that has been forced upon us?  Is it from peer groups?  where has this idea of beauty come from?  Is it idealistic?  Is it realistic?  And, more importantly, is it obtainable?

From what I have seen in recent years, the idea and perception of beauty (as a woman) is one of being skinny, having clear skin, having long, thick hair, sun-kissed skin and straight white teeth.  Ok, this isn’t a full list, and im sure there is more that could be added to it but you get the idea.  what I don’t understand is how skinniness can equal beauty?  I know that the media is trying now (albeit rather slowly) to do a u-turn on using teeny tiny models in magazines and is trying to promote a healthier attitude to body shape but has the damage already been done?

I think what I want to do, and where I’d like to challenge this idea of beauty is to take ordinary people (you and me…) and zone in on an area that is beautiful, like, you may have gorgeous clear skin or bright shiny eyes, full lips, and use that as a starting point.  It doesn’t matter if someone is classed as ugly or whatever, there can still be beauty found in everyone, and I think that is what I want to show in my work on this topic.


**You may have noticed that the project name has changed from last time, it’s a working title at the moment but the one used here seems to fit the ideas I have at the moment.**

Uni Summer Project

I never like to discuss a theme for my work on here until I am certain of the subject myself and have thought of a few ideas that could be used to form part of my work.  I did, loosely, explain my ideas in this post, https://artreviewed.wordpress.com/2012/06/12/research-for-projects/ but didn’t let on the topics I was thinking about covering.

The first idea that I have is about beauty and how society has warped and changed that idea, from models being airbrushed and body shapes being changed, to the use of plastic surgery to change how someone looks.  what is wrong with how we look with out the enhancements made by these procedures?  Who says that the way we are naturally, is not beautiful?  Who says that skinny has to equal beauty?  I know that there are people out there who are trying to change those ideas but is it happening?  I read this article (http://www.guardian.co.uk/lifeandstyle/2012/jun/10/body-image-anxiety-eva-wiseman) in the Guardian which has provided some ideas of what I can do with this project.

The other idea I had was about documenting interruptions.  I get interrupted from what I am doing on a daily basis, sometimes hourly, sometimes by myself creating those interruptions (like my thoughts drift away from what I am doing, I start daydreaming, stop what I am doing to check my phone/social networking sites/blogs, make coffee, etc…) or sometimes by others (texts, phone calls, talking, someone knocking the door).  I had the idea to try to illustrate those interruptions, no matter how big or small and create something using those illustrations.

I am still working throught the ideas in my head and thinking about where to take either or both of these ideas.