by Vanessa Fairfax-Woods
UK, 2021

The artist wears a couture outfit that sculpts the body and emphasises the flesh. This living canvas is centred between four pale mannequins that symbolise female beauty standards and also evoke classical statues on pedestals. The artwork is an act of defiance that challenges the paradoxical treatment of the female image in an era that claims to empower women. In Western society, the word "fat" is shrouded in secrecy, whispered and emphasised, evoking a sense of obscenity. Addressing misogyny and body shaming, the image signifies not only a departure from contemporary beauty norms but also a perceived failure of women to conform to the incessant body work demanded by society, making them "less" as subjects of society.

Vanessa Fairfax-Woods is a conceptual photographer and filmmaker who works with the issues of mental health, body image and feminism.

This is Gender (In)Equality 2023