With my project OBJECTIFICATION MEETS BODY, I wanted to discuss the objectification of breasts. Strictly speaking, it is not the breasts that are objectified, but the woman’s body through the breasts, or the fact that she has breasts.
The size and shape of breasts become a synonym for womanhood, attractiveness and, ultimately, worth. This perception is harmful to anyone who – for various reasons – doesn’t fit the mould: women without breasts or small breasts, transwomen, or young girls who get involuntarily sexualized because of their breasts, to name just some. Also, there is an assumption that women who look sexually attractive to men – by having large and firm breasts – are necessarily more sexually active and willing. That’s a projection of the male gaze onto the woman’s body.
Breasts have their own life. Everyone has their own look, and they change over time with age, weight, and hormonal changes. But this fact is ignored when we’re presented with the expectations placed on our bodies. Breasts are only seen as worthy if they’re large (but not too large!), firm, and round. These demands are completely removed from the realities of the female body. My pieces in this project can be seen as a comment on this absurdity.
The outfits represent quirky, diverse, and playful examples of breasts; challenging the stereotypical idea of how a pair of breasts should look. Melis, Parisa, Ahsan, and Riya, who are presenting the outfits, all represent deeply personal associations with breasts, challenging the notion that breasts define womanhood. Elif Kücük photographed the project, and it was our first collaboration.
Finding and experimenting with my materials takes a lot of time. For this project, I used many different textures to achieve the visual result that I had in mind, ranging from transparent plastic sheets and dye to tulle and foam.
Being an artist without an atelier forces me to use every space in my home when I work on larger projects. With so many elements, I need room to create an overview, so I use every wall, floor, and table as my workspace. Sometimes it‘s very hard to stay focused when you live, eat, sleep and work in the same space.
On my way to Elif with all the outfits. Working without a budget means that you rely entirely on friends and family for making things happen. My sister Moshtari helped us throughout the process.
Fitting day – the first time that Elif and I met Melis, Parisa, Ahsan, and Riya. Until then we had only communicated through Instagram. The feeling of trust and understanding among us was overwhelming, and everyone could openly share ideas and contribute to the process. I was also very grateful how all four not only came to model for a shooting, but actually became artworks themselves, interacting with the camera and my objects.
Shooting day – Melis, Parisa, Ahsan, and Riya were amazing. Through their strong personalities and stories we could create a visual narrative that is far greater than just the display of my works.