So, these are only a FEW of the tweets that were aimed towards me, for openly being a female with armpit hair. There are millions more that I may or may not post. But for now, let’s go ahead and review this here folks.
Does a dozen teenagers who have been brainwashed by our patriarchal, misogynistic society telling me that I’m a disgusting hairy ape hurt my feelings? Absolutely not. I’m obviously very proud to display my body and my personal choices that go against our cruel standards for women.
But what does make me sad, is that this is what we are teaching our youth. These are the real, raw beliefs of young people today in regards to women, and what they can and cannot do with their bodies.
They truly believe in their minds that it is ‘unacceptable’ and ‘disgusting’ for a woman to make the choice to not shave. What’s even more sad to me is that the people agreeing with this boy were ALL FEMALE. Is this kind of bias, this kind of internalized hatred for womens bodies & choices really what we want to continue to teach them? This is probably the first time they have seen a woman who doesn’t take a razor and shave off what naturally grows on her body, and they’re legitimately angry to the point where they can personally attack someone they don’t even know about their body. They are angry to the point where it’s almost as if they feel personally insulted that a girl does not shave. Let’s stop and think: why would they feel this angry about a personal choice that is so very insignificant? That has no effect on our health, hygiene or well being?
Think back to this the next time you hear yourself or someone else saying 'women are equal' or ‘women aren’t discriminated against.’Because this is what we are teaching our young women. We are teaching them that your body is not okay, it is not okay to go against what society defines as ‘beautiful.’ It is not okay to be open about who you are, what you choose to do with your body that makes you most comfortable. It is not okay to make a choice that goes against the rules that society has set for us. That you are ‘psycho,’ an ape, disgusting, & that your choices that fit your comfort are not okay. This is the world we have created for women.
Illusions of the Body was made to tackle the supposed norms of what we think our bodies are supposed to look like. Most of us realize that the media displays the only the prettiest photos of people, yet we compare ourselves to those images. We never get to see those photos juxtaposed against a picture of that same person looking unflattering. That contrast would help a lot of body image issues we as a culture have.
Within the series I tried get a range of body types, ethnicities & genders to show how everyone is a different shape & size; there is no “normal”. Each photo was taken with the same lighting & the same angle.
Celebrate your shapes, sizes & the odd contortions your body can get itself into. The human body is a weird & beautiful thing.
Photographer: Gracie Hagen
All I can think is how much better I would feel if media were to feed me with pictures like these in all the magazines. Because these photos made me feel so much better about myself in seconds, imagine what a lifetime of photographies like these would do for someone’s confidence? I love this to bits, it’s beautiful.
Back in the bluebell forest by Once upon a time in Alex land..