this was a project for school - we had to create a social issue collage that used a variety of mediums and brought awareness to something we felt strongly about. here are some more detailed thoughts on mine.
Today, magazine pages are filled with models, each skinnier than the previous, the internet is bursting with the latest celebrity diets and weight loss secrets, and social networking websites are constantly abuzz with competitions to be the thinnest, the most beautiful, and the most popular. Everywhere we look, there are images of perfection. For my social issue collage, I chose to bring awareness to the issue of the effect of popular media on self image. The focal point of my project is the girl in the center. The left half of her face is done in watercolor and intended to look too perfect, almost like a doll’s, representing the unattainable standard that has been set by popular media to feel “pretty” or “beautiful.” The right side of her face is done in ink as a typographic portrait, and all the words are real quotes from actual people posted anonymously on a self-help website. My intention was to show how the pressure to be perfect affects everyone, from actors and actresses and models to ordinary people.
Just as the girl’s face is split in two, I chose to do the same with the background. On the left, I made a collage of magazine clippings and quotes from the internet that try to capture the intense and overwhelming amount of media that portrays perfection as an impossible outer beauty. The imagery on the right side is meant to echo the visual feel of the left side in the skewed black barbed wire that is meant to look like the headlines on the left. The people dangling off of the wires was how I represented the loss of one’s true self when they try to reach an image of flawlessness, symbolized by the character in red, that they will inevitably never reach. The two halves are meant to contrast society’s image of perfection with reality and the effects it can have. The final component of my collage is a sign that reads “I am more than just a pretty face.” The intention behind this part was to illustrate a saying that people once knew but have since forgotten. I did this by painting it in watercolors and letting the paint drip down the paper as if it was a sign that had washed away in the rain because people had forgotten about it. I want people to know that they don’t have to be a size 00 or have flawless skin to be beautiful. I hope my project can remind people that you are more than just a pretty face.