12 August 2010

Creating Propaganda From A Personal Point of View

Figure 1. Chiropractic Man. Kelly Myers, Drawing with Illustrator/Photoshop, 2009
     I become a cosmopolitan being when logging on to the Internet. In only a few minutes, I can sort out the latest world news, fashion, or entertainment. Not only can I be my own worldly informant, but an arm chair diagnostic specialist as well. It is now so easy to be an advocate for my own health. Furthermore, I can carefully select my own consumer goods, higher education or anything of interest through Internet research. Also, as a member of a growing global community, I can add a word about anything on the heels of anyone famous or unknown, and on any subject or in almost any language. Exchanging ideas with friends across the world, is now an instant and every day activity. I am a true cosmopolitan woman, from my own studio apartment. I take this new life rather seriously. 
     It is through our collective new habits that trends form. With the help of mediascapes found in the Internet, we are able to up date our own self image and human knowledge by having an endless supply of ideas. It is now not at all uncommon to see high fashion in low places or to know about the latest invention in technology from articles written by citizen and professional journalists.
     This access of media has developed into a new platform for media influence. An influence that is so young, it is hard to determine what sort of effect it will have on our communities at large. 
     However, my foundation for media was influenced first by glossy magazines. It was through the images in various fashion magazines that I began to form my ideas specifically regarding the female image. Through my exposure of media culture in this manner, I learned about the male gaze and its patrimony. The dominating power in how a woman presents herself is arguably crafted by the discerning eye of the male. Albeit, with her consent. Often at the hands of gay males, but generally funded by big money which by and large is from the pockets of a white upper class male patriarchal dominated figure.
     Chiropractic Man is a very old idea. It started with a remark I heard once from a comedian, who said, "high heels should be worn lying down." 
     Over the years, I have watched many women hurt themselves by wearing high heels. I have listened to women talk about how it is "good" for their calves. Isn't that indicative of a woman? Making the best of torturous situations?  
     I have watched women run in high heels and hurt themselves. Some have broken the heel of the shoe and walked lopsided the rest of the night. Others have taken big spills on stairwells. Many have feet that are crooked from elevated shoes. The list goes on and on. But the most common complaint is lower back pain. Enter chiropractor, did you make a deal with a high heels manufacturer to secure your place in society?
     I created this poster to provoke women to think about what they are doing to their bodies and why. The hegemony of society's female imagery looms over women in a way that is of an extreme nature. The manufactured female in our mediascapes is carefully manicured from head to toe, and is almost always wearing a pair of very compromising shoes. Why would the way we look dominate the way that we feel? 
     Perhaps, part of the American Dream for women, is to be successful in the way that she looks. Having the right hair, make-up, clothing and the perfect shoe has become a kind of female uniform. I worked in retail for many years and I found that anytime that I spent extra time on my hair, makeup and wore a back breaking shoe, my sales would go up. Plus, people would act nicer to me. But at the end of the day, I felt horrible, and concluded that my comfort was far more important than someone's kind gaze.


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