The Gendered Object

  • Gabby Edlin
"The Gendered Object"
This project was a part of my Masters in Applied Imagination in the Creative Industries at Central St Martins College of Art and Design.
The title for this project comes from Pat Kirkham's 1996 book of the same name, which explores "the way in which objects in everyday life are made socially acceptable and appropriate for women and men."
Let's make no bones about it. The beauty and hygiene industry is set up to make women feel like shit. That's how they make billions and billions of pounds. With few exceptions, the very same industry powers up men, with a "you're sexy just as you are - but have some moisturiser too" marketing strategy.
What would it look like if men were fed the same kind of marketing women are bombarded with daily?
What would masculinity look like if men were taught their bodies were growing the "wrong" type of hair, or emitting the "wrong" smells?
I decided to alter some products, and made real-life prototypes to start discussions with young men about feminist activism, masculinity and the beauty industry.
Please note, I am not suggesting men should be targeting in the same way - two wrongs don't make a right...