Project:Unit 6 Are Women Free? By Eliza Meketon
My philosophical question that I had the job of answering was determining whether women are free. With already preknown knowledge and additional research I have determined that the answer to that question is no, women are not free. When creating my artistic representation I had looked up some images. I had specifically looked for plastic surgery models and on the very first page of google images it was pretty evident that majority of the plastic surgery models that were being used were of woman. Now at first this may seem far fetched however I was intrigued. I did some additional research and according to statistics I found at The American Society of Plastic Surgeons, in 2013, 91% of all cosmetic procedures were carried by women. While only 9% percent of cosmetic procedures were carried out by men. If this is not enough the number one cosmetic surgical procedures in 2013, was breast augmentations. Apparently 290,000 patients had gotten breast augmentations. These statistics were all too real for me. It made me question what beauty even was. So I decide to look it up. The first site that came up was for a makeup and cosmetic store. I have come to realize that the media, and society has pushed an image of what it means to be a woman , what it means to be beautiful has been shoved down womens throats since the beginning of time. The expectation to maintain an idealistic, beautiful, and attractive exterior and interior has been vocalized since man has learned to talk. It is clear that women can never truly escape the the grip of societies idea of perfection.
I have looked at multiple ideas of famous philosophers regarding women and their purpose in the world. Philosophers such as the highly regarded Aristotle as well as the well recognized Plato. Each of these MEN have vastly different views on the role of women. First, I looked at Aristotle’s view. He had determined that women’s role was to be the caretaker and the submissive position in a relationship between a man and wife. That women lack the courage to even be on a man’s level even in a biological way. He believed that men were the main stars in reproduction and that sperm gave the fetus it’s being. While Plato was more progressive for his time and believed that women should be in the “guardian class” and should have a role in society. He thought that women were capable of holding roles of authority and it was also said that he thought that to have a contributing position in society, you should be measured by your ability and and aptitude not by gender. However, no matter how forward thinking Plato’s ideas are about women, the fact that there is even a discussion about a woman’s capabilities without a woman's perspective even being reliable is proof that women are not free from criticism and the questioning of ability and intelligence.
When creating my art piece I thought about all the things I have seen and heard regarding what it means to be a woman. Whether it is specified to gender, beauty, or society. Then I thought, who determines what it means to even be a woman? Then I remembered a documentary I had watched. This documentary was comparing and contrasting three women. They were all different ages and at different stages in life. The documentary discussed about the role of sex and beauty in their lives. It talked about how the standards of beauty had been dramatically altered in the past couple centuries. It is also talked about what it meant to be a sexy and attractive woman in this day in age. How words had evolved to not only objectify, but also brainwash millions of women into thinking that perfection is achievable and that there is an answer to what is beautiful. In my art piece I strived to demonstrate the ways that women are impacted by words and institutions that affect even the deepest forms of alteration on one self. The woman I drew is supposed to represent a an average woman. The lines on her represent some of the hundreds of types of plastic surgery women can get on themselves such as breast augmentation, liposuction, facelift, and many more. Some of the lines that appear on her body are drawn to mark where a patient would undergo plastic surgery. On those lines I wrote words that could affect a woman to change her physical appearance. Her wrist is also shackled to a wall. On her shackle it says the word beauty. This shows that women are being put into a metaphorical box when it comes to what makes them beautiful. The main reason I had decided to use the word beauty on the shackle was to demonstrate how that word can hold a woman back in life. Especially if the world finds flaws with a woman’s physical appearance. On her eyes is the word perfection. This represents how what she thinks no longer matters and that she is being blinded by what the world wants from her and her ideas and opinions no longer matter. She is no longer free from society, the world’s expectations, or even herself.