Going into this project, not once did I think that there would be a trend in with what types of images I’ve chose to analyze i.e., body policing, body shaming, and the weather/what types of clothes are appropriate for that specific season. All my texts thus far have dealt with some sort of summer-related fashion like wearing bathing suits in different settings. Changing up the subject matter slightly, but still sticking with the summer climate, I found this image after Google image searching, “body policing”.
With further research I had found that the artist of this comic strip is 24-year-old Kendra, from New York City. Her Tumblr page can be found here. After browsing through her work, I noticed there wasn’t a specific theme to her illustrations; she doesn’t only create pieces that portray the double standards of women verses men, although she does state that, “I’m am an aggressive feminist killjoy” on her Tumblr about section (Kendrawcandraw, 2014).
For starters it seems that this text is two separate comics represented horizontally as what is acceptable for men and not acceptable for women. As far as the format, the large text of “Why.” at the top draws the reader in for further investigation. The mirrored images of the motions of both men (on the left) and women (on the right) are also intriguing, especially because the woman on the top-right is naked. Personally, I think this illustration would have made more sense if Kendra just included the bottom piece, and eliminated the top piece. No matter how much of a feminist a person thinks they are, I think that exposing a woman’s breasts is considered indecent, and mind you, I am a woman. I say that because if I were to do that at the beach, I would likely be arrested. I know, I know…that’s the whole part of a feminist and this text, but to me, I think this is too much. I’m not looking to successfully be able to walk around naked in public. I can do that in my home if I wanted to and that’s good enough for me. I believe that if we want gender equality, we should start with baby steps, i.e., the comics on the bottom of Kendra’s text. These are perfect. These are my cup of feminism. On Kendra’s blog, she originally posted this illustration below the one that was just explored. These images were posted on June 1st of last year, and generated a whopping 646,338 notes, or shares. She also added a caption to these illustrations that read,
“Stop sexualizing my body stop shaming my body stop policing my body
I can whole-heartedly agree with this illustration above. This specific text absolutely challenges the current social order in many ways. One being, that it subconsciously influences a woman’s decision to wear specific clothing in order to feel comfortable in a hot climate. Note that she is JUST wearing a tank top and shorts. And because of this, she gets catcalled. The next time she is seen, she is covered from head to toe in order to avoid getting harassed, and it is not clear to the man why she is dressed like that. This scenario certainly is something that happens in real life. In fact, dressing a woman from head to toe doesn’t protect them from being catcalled, and a man named Robert Bliss from Rob Bliss Creative (Sieczkowski, 2014) has illustrated that below (StreetHarassmentVideo, 2014).
I should mention that this video later received tons of criticism because the actor in the video only traveled through predominantly Black neighborhoods. I’m not going to get into that debate because I don’t know if that was intended, or if the neighborhood she chose to walk though (Manhattan) might’ve been where she lives, or an area she wanted to explore just because. What’s important here is that Kendra’s texts illustrated a level of harassment to where the harassment was eliminated once the cartoon character was clothed, and Bliss’s video challenged Kendra’s text because the woman is clothed, and harassment is still present.