Challenging the self : an examination of the media's role in creating idealized bodies and the artists that challenge them.
Date on Master's Thesis/Doctoral Dissertation
Committee Co-Chair (if applicable)
cultivation theory; the looking glass self; contemporary art; social justice art; norms
Seeking to understand the media’s influence over society, and the way the media motivate us to conform to specific ideals, this thesis focuses on how female bodies in particular are consistently idealized and objectified in mainstream media. Through television, print, and the internet, the media serve as our world’s main means of mass communication. Noting this, this text seeks to understand the female body’s historical objectification through art history and genres of the nude, how this has transferred to contemporary media, and finally states that these stereotypes and norms can be challenged through the work of contemporary artists. By reclaiming the female body, reclaiming nakedness, and denying objecthood, female artists today have the power to counter the idealized images of the media with images of their own. The work of these artists celebrate difference and advocate for not one ideal form but many.
Oberdick, Jessica, "Challenging the self : an examination of the media's role in creating idealized bodies and the artists that challenge them." (2017). Electronic Theses and Dissertations. Paper 2838.