Art Exhibition Explores Body Image
We are bombarded constantly with unrealistic images of women. Last year, two former classmates had lunch and decided to create an exhibition to explore these issues through artistic expression. “Body Conscius” at the Amelie A. Wallace Gallery at State University of New York College at Old Westbury is intended to promote discussion about how these media portrayals negatively affect women and girls. “I want it to be provocative. I want it to be unsettling and in your face, a look at what we are doing to our young women,” said the exhibit’s curator, Emily L. Newman. The pieces in the exhibit range from large scale photographs in which the subjects have been photoshopped to look extremely thin to photographs of voluptuous women in the nude. Images from websites and media materials that promote anorexia, known as the “pro ana” movement, are also on display.
It is estimated that 20 million women in the United States experience a clinically significant eating disorder in their lifetime (half as many men suffer from eating disorders, at 10 million, as this is on the rise). The problems around unrealistic body image seem insurmountable since our girls often learn from the women in their life as well as media images to hate their bodies. The pressure is only increasing. In the past, after a woman had children she could let go of being so image conscious and put on the “Mom jeans,” but, now, there is pressure to be a “hot” Mom. This focus and dissatisfaction about our bodies is being modeled to our children.
To learn more about eating disorders, click here.