Female Gaze not valued

A woman appears in front of a soft, gray background with three primary color boxes blocking her view. She wears bright red lipstick, has her hair done in a very fashionable way, and wears earrings. Her jawline is distinct, as is the shadowing surrounding her entire head and neck. Her hair is very detailed and you can almost see each individual strand. She is blonde. She appears to be wearing makeup, specifically blush to highlight her cheekbones. Her eyes and forehead are hidden by the artist.

The feminine appearing person, who I assume is a woman, embodies traditional femininity. From the blush to the lipstick, to the earrings, to the short blonde, Marilyn Monroe-esque hair, she appears as a woman. Her eyes are hidden, which I think is intentional. Drawing from my own background as an American Studies major with a focus in gender and sexuality, I’m seeing social commentary on the male gaze. The woman’s gaze is blocked because it is not valued by society. Through conversations we’ve had in class about abortion and gender, we’ve acknowledged that women are oppressed. This image highlights that oppression by acknowledging that the woman’s gaze is unvalued and hidden. Socially, her gaze is unimportant, and this artwork could be related to current political issues surrounding the wage gap or abortion rights. The male gaze is clearly valued over a female gaze from this image.


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