The issue of male body image is grossly under-represented in our culture, and to continue in this manner as a society will create an even hazier image of what it means to be a modern man. Thus the purpose of my work is to acknowledge the commercial subjectification of the male form to the beauty myth, to make men aware of the social forces that influence their constructs of their own body image, and show women that men can benefit from their experience and the support systems they have developed. Women’s long history with the beauty myth has governed them with suitable weapons and armor with which to empower and protect themselves: every thing from Jenny Craig and Orlan’s plastic surgeries, to self help books and even the whisperings of a mother telling her daughter “it’s the beauty on the inside that counts”. Men however, so newly subjected to this war, stand on the battlefield completely nude and helpless.

In an effort to clothe and shield the male form, I turned to what I knew best at the time- designer labels. Having worked at Bloomingdales- an upscale department store chain- I was in an environment whose economic wealth depends on perpetrating the beauty myth. I came to realize that department stores, as well as many other stores, have their own unique visual language for this purpose, which rather appropriately is called “the visual” of the store. It is this language: advertising and brand images, window displays, mirrors, repetition of the same product, perfectly sculpted mannequins, even the use of beautiful sales associates, that I became interested in borrowing. Instead of disseminating the beauty myth, my work, Idol Armor installation, uses the environment of the department store and its language to call attention to the myth itself.

Printed T-shirts, Branding Images, Visual Displays

Plaster Cast Body Parts, Price, Mirrors

Plaster Cast, Pills, Mirror