I shave because…
Social norms form our lives unconsciously. How many things do we do daily that we would not do without the pressure of society? Have you ever thought of why marriage, having kids and owning a house is considered to be the perfect and fulfilled life in Western societies? Are these things giving us joy or is it just the social pressure that makes us think this is what we need? Society expects us to do certain things and we usually fail to see and accept it if we have different needs. But why? Why do we all stand in the line surrendering to these social norms?
Visual aesthetics play a vital role in today’s Western society. We built up a society where physical appearance represents high values in our everyday life. Not only the way we consume things and engage with the internet have a connection to how we see and place ourselves in society but the way the system works and treats us. Under the word ’system’ I refer to the intertwined connection of patriarchy and capitalism. I take shaving and myself as an example and examine the question of ’Why do women shave?’. The representation of women in our current society shapes our idea and opinion on shaving therefore I work with questions such as: How are social norms created and how do they influence us? What are the ways to challenge and break these norms, if it is possible at all? How can our capacity for developing autonomy remain while being influenced by the system? My practice investigates these questions comprehensively and addresses the importance of discussions and the understanding of the roots of our behavior as well as how we as individuals contribute to the influence of society and the system.
With this project, I explore the connections of capitalism and patriarchy as well as how these systems influence social norms, body aesthetics and acceptance. More specifically, I take shaving and myself as an example and examine the question of ’Why do I shave?’ I am not only challenging myself but the social norms that surround this topic, as well as how patriarchy and capitalism influence women’s lives when it comes to defining their own femininity.