Final project for MEJO 442 - Gender, Class, Race, and Mass Media with Prof. Barbara Friedman at UNC - Chapel Hill's School of Media and Journalism, created in collaboration with Alexis Fairbanks.
This project sought to tackle the accurate, truthful, and unretouched representation and celebration of women, with a particular emphasis on women’s magazine covers. We were primarily inspired by our discontent with magazines like Cosmopolitan, InStyle, Elle, and Glamour editing the women on their covers beyond recognition, and then surrounding the images with inane headlines that trivialize women’s interests and perpetuate the pressures women feel to appease the male gaze.
We decided to put our peers on magazine covers for the fall issue of the made-up publication Worth, a magazine by and for women that pays tribute to the Busts, benches, and Reductresses that have preceded it. Our cover stars were encouraged to wear outfits in which they felt powerful, which manifested in the form of everything from athletic clothes to dark red lipstick. Each image was shot on a primary-colored background, with hard lighting that emphasized each of the women’s features. Our subjects made eye contact with the camera, and challenged the phenomenon of the feminine touch by posing in powerful, confident stances.