My reading was Martha Rosler with the added influence of Pipilotti Rist, a mixture of in-your-face feminism. My subject explored the idea of beauty and its association with the legs. Why do legs have to be shaved to be counted as beautiful for women? The stigma of unshaven legs of a women means she is dirty, unkempt, not lady-like. Media seems to have a hand in this shaven leg ideal with the sexually charged razor commercials with handsome men touching freshly shaven legs of equally attractive women. Having shaven legs equals acceptance under a patriarchal society. In my video I wanted to put the hair of my legs in both the female and male audience faces. This is a comment on the rightness of nature and the hypocrisy of society. the heavy breathing during the shaving scenes refer to Rist’s psychotic and visually uncomfortable video I’m Not The Girl Who Misses Much (1986). Shaving sets women and men apart. The hairless legs of women are supposed to represent a media painted picture of the ideal women, hairy legs of the men represent his raw power. Hair is intimidating and possibility of of men freely and comfortably showing off their hairy legs is a public announcement of their confidence and feminist opposition to the male equivalent of hairy legs. Shaving the hair from the legs is the disarming of women.
In my experience doing this project and growing my hair for a few weeks, I became rather conscious of the fibers attached to my skin, growing outwards. When I finally had to shave it I thought it would be a relief, since the weather was getting hot, but I felt uneasy removing all the hair I have grown specifically as a means to make a comment about women’s opposition to the societal norm. I was going against my message, following the norm and shave to be allowed to wear more revealing clothing in public. I felt naked to the outside despite being accepted with shaven legs.