Distorted Perceptions of Reality - Mirrorfast was an event organised by group of young female students at London College of Communication in order to celebrate female identity. We encouraged the woman to participate in our research and talk about the perception of femininity.
To explore other issues which contribute to woman perception of themselves, we considered subjects such as body image, advertising, plastic surgery and male gaze in the media. Our team aimed to achieve the distortion or at least provocation of an altered perception of reality by the use of painted quotes and images on the mirrors around the campus of London College of Communication.
Our research focused on the onslaught of modern marketing techniques at the beginning of the 20th century which have manifested as common place ideals in todays society and have resulted in a host of issues surrounding how women ‘ought’ to behave and look. The idea of Mirror Fast originally stemmed from research into the Jewish mourning custom of covering mirrors.
During the event itself we ask participants to fill in the survey consisting fo questions about the body image perception.
89% of women who participated in the questionnaire believe that advertising objectifies women, and 77% wish to change something about their bodies. Snugly in the middle of these observations sit 62% of women say they are happy about their bodies. This then, leaves 38% of women who are unhappy. We could speculate that this is in fact due to unsustainable ideals of beauty as prescribed by socioeconomic factors and advertising.
Our installation cannot answer this, although it does provoke the question of whether our perception of myself is in our control or is influenced by others.
Visual Identity by Maeve O'Brien.