Tattoos and the Female Gaze

MCCREESH, Natalie (2017). Tattoos and the Female Gaze. In: The Space Between: Psyche, Body, Skin, Environment, Royal College of Art, London, 3 February 2017. (Unpublished)

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When we dress our bodies we are choosing a version of ourselves to present. We may choose to present ourselves in alternative ways with regards to the different situations we may find ourselves in throughout that day. For work, socialising, sport, we may wear different garments due to practicalities of use. There will however usually be a choice and some control over our outwards appearance. For many heavily tattooed women their clothing often fulfils another purpose - that of protective barrier from the male gaze. ‘Modified women often received the criticism like “You’re such a pretty girl, why would you do that to yourself?’ [Tattooed women] are deviant in their gender presentation, and this transgression justifies public comment.’ (Beverly Yuen Thompson, 2015:167) This study intends to evaluate how tattooed women choose to display their personal identities through dress and appearance. The early stages of this research involves a series of in-depth interviews and wardrobe analyses with tattooed individuals to discuss self identity, aspects of the self, the public / private body, continuing identities and identity constraints with regards to clothing and appearance. Though tattoos are permanent their meaning can be transient, changing and evolving with personal identity. Along with garments in the wardrobe tattoos can have periods of favour where they are chosen to be on display, in contrast they can also be seen as something of regret and chosen to be concealed. Over long periods of time and even on a daily basis, individuals have an evolving relationship with their tattooed bodies and the clothing they use to reveal and conceal it.

Item Type: Conference or Workshop Item (Paper)
Research Institute, Centre or Group - Does NOT include content added after October 2018: Cultural Communication and Computing Research Institute > Art and Design Research Centre
Departments - Does NOT include content added after October 2018: Faculty of Science, Technology and Arts > Department of Art and Design
Depositing User: Natalie Mccreesh
Date Deposited: 02 Mar 2017 09:49
Last Modified: 18 Mar 2021 11:44

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