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Homegroan girls : a visual investigation into the bad girl stereotype within popular soft porn website culture

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thesis
posted on 2023-05-27, 11:24 authored by Winterbottom, T
This project aimed to develop a visual language to explore the phenomena of the bad girl stereotype in popular culture. The term bad girl reflects a change in contemporary attitudes towards gender roles and identity. Women of all ages are taking control of their own sexual image through examination, and subversion, of concepts that carried negative connotations in a patriarchal society. In particular this project focuses on the use and effects of digital technology and how this has enabled women to participate in a revision of established notions of gender roles in contemporary society. Through devices like digital photography, home computers and Internet access, women can explore, deconstruct and play with their own 'image'. This marks a significant change in the history of the 'pin up girl' and the influence and domination of the male gaze on the female sexual aesthetic. Previously guys would send photos of their girlfriends into trashy magazines like Picture. But now in their own surroundings ordinary girls are both posing for the camera and taking the photographs. This selfexploration and reclaiming of sexuality is even more prominent on the Internet with websites like suicidegirls.com and digitalgirly.com The project has strong links, both formally and culturally, to pop artists Andy Warhol and Allen Jones, photographers such as Nan Goldin, (whose work recorded the truelife adventures of her mates 'living on the edge') and contemporary artists Tracey Emin and Sarah Lucas. These artists transgressive use of smutty tabloid humour and investigations into female stereotypes play a vital role in the construction of this project. The works evolve from digital photographs and footage taken during photo shoots with girlfriends being 'bad' around the house. Bad girls acting out their web porn fantasies are depicted within everyday domestic surroundings. The three stages of the research have all involved an exploration in collage techniques. The project is a hybrid of old and new techniques including painting, drawing, photography, animation and web design, enabling the outcomes to weave in and out of the public digital arena and the more conventional gallery space. The results of my investigation are represented by a series of digital and vinyl cut out works, animations, digital prints and the homegroan girls website.

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