Social media is a way for me to connect socially and politically with other people in the world. Through Tumblr, Twitter, etc., I am learning everyday about current issues, especially gender inequality, and I am able to discuss my opinions on these matters with other people who share similar beliefs in feminism. However, certain social media platforms, such as Instagram and Facebook, seem to have their own opinions on gender equality by putting strict limitations or censorship on images of women’s breasts, more specifically the female nipple. All photographs showing any female nipple, unless a male nipple is pasted over it, is deemed “inappropriate” and a “violation of community guidelines” by these particular sites. These images include breastfeeding mothers, breast cancer survivors, nude photographs, and any other art with an exposed female breast. These are not pornographic or made to provoke; they simply are images that are needed by women to feel understood and normal. For this project, I wanted to challenge that view of censorship and reinterpret it through well-known art that depicts the female form. I chose Gustav Klimt’s Mother and Child (1905) and Henri Matisse’s Blue Nude II (1952), and I appropriated the original art by placing the Instagram and Facebook symbols over the area of the nipple to show the censorship laws that these social media sites put on females to conceal their own bodies. I added the words “stop censoring out
fucking art” to emphasize the issue and represent that not only paintings are considered art but that the body itself in its natural form is art. We are art, both women and men; we all should have equal freedom of our own bodies. If we allow ourselves to be silenced or censored, we are giving this online society of people the power to do it in real life. I hope my project will make you question your own view on censorship, and why you may or may not be shocked by images of the female body. Are you thinking these things or is society telling you how to think?
By showing my project through a gradual series of layers, it emphasizes the meaning of censorship on the female body. I chose to show the original pieces of art, and then added in the Instagram and Facebook symbols one by one. Finally, my last addition was the text. I like how the gif shows a progression of meaning as the seconds pass on or as it continues to loop. At first glance, it is just two artworks, but as the symbols and words are added, your original thought of the piece is altered and reinterpreted in a way you may not have expected.
Click here for my process