You Are What You Eat?
35 mm Kodak film on Nikon N90s
self-portraits that navigate questions about advertising, body image, and the quotidian habit of eating
Consume and consummate are closely tied together: Con means "together, with" and sum means "sum, total".
However, the first is to use up a resource, often in relation to food, and the latter is related to sex. Humans lust for both food and sex, and food and women are often framed in similar lights. In the same way that women are hypersexualized, many food advertisements are overtly sexual.
Many women relate to having at one point felt their self-esteem affected by their body or weight, both of which are tied to consumption. Studies show young girls developing eating disorders in attempts to control their appearance. Our modern world has closely tied women's eating habits (to consume, or not consume) to their sexual prowess and desirability (ability to consummate). These images also hint at this through a cliche, you are what you eat, as a young woman eats a waffle whose pattern closely represents that of her blouse, and even pasta that is shaped like her hair, and so on.
One of these images alone may look like a single snapshot, captured just in time, of a young woman eating. However, when side-by-side, these images interact, start to feel awkward, and even creepy. In the same way that advertisements that hypersexualize women—advertisements which are often for ordinary products—required incredible amounts of thought and detail, these images required a lot of attention. They are no accident, and that is indisputable when they are placed side-by-side.
It takes over 10 attempts to get the perfect shot.
This work is still in progress.