Mirror, Mirror
by Lynn Schmidt

project STATEMENT

The photographic body of work Mirror, Mirror focuses on a feminist narrative showing the emotional marginalization of women by the expectations of perfection and eternal joyeux that is exemplified in two-dimensional paper dolls of all forms. The always smiling, never aging, always perfect, ever-present, never talking, waiting, pleasing, sometimes fetishized, and eroticized doll. In many ways, I see these dolls as stand-ins for myself along with many women I have known—an illustration of the “female myth” of how women should look, feel, and behave. I desire to overcome the problematic triangular gaze between the artist, image, and audience produced with these photographs to spawn the possibility of a new reality without the influence of masculinity. The male gaze can be toxic, whereas the female gaze can be healing. Just as we are drawn to our images in the mirror, or our reflection in a window—usually to criticize ourselves and pick at our perceived flaws—let us truly look to see the courage, strength, and fortitude that allows us to make it through our day.

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