Date on Master's Thesis/Doctoral Dissertation


Document Type

Master's Thesis

Degree Name



Fine Arts

Degree Program

Art, MA

Committee Chair

Reitz, Chris

Committee Co-Chair (if applicable)

Jarosi, Susan

Committee Member

Jarosi, Susan

Committee Member

Yates, Joey

Author's Keywords

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.

Included in

Art Practice Commons