NOT YOUR MARILYN: BEYOND A SYMBOL
Sometimes I feel like I am Marilyn Monroe. Not the glamorous icon, the laughing, singing dancing woman she appears to be. But the woman who is trapped by expectation, designed by and for the male gaze. Women are taught and told to be objects of beauty by the media. It also teaches everyone to view them as such. In this project i want to emulate this feeling. The feeling of looming pressure and a feeling of being trapped. Of frustration and fear. Of anger and compliance. All that comes with the objectification and belittling of women and girls in our culture, especially media. I want to show that Marilyn is much more than a sex symbol, but a symbol for this entrapment. I have decided to photograph women who are covered in the conventions of the idealized woman figure, of what women should be,
an idealization like the concept of Marilyn. This series is titled, Not Your Marilyn
. The series will show the monotony of only one representation of women; how the media attempts to reduce women to just their sex appeal, their bodies, and how the only accepted standard for beauty is that of a women like Marilyn Monroe. This project will show that we don’t all fit that box, and that we shouldn’t have to. These photographs are an attempt to reclaim a symbol, a trope, that has been used to reduce women. I want to take this commonly known symbol of a woman and turn it into something unfamiliar, bring it into a new space, see it through a different gaze and a new context. To see how damaging the symbol of Marilyn is.