January 31, 2019

How can we address digital media’s influence on mental health?

Stephanie Wilson

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Advertising impacts how we view bodies, often portraying unachievable results as attainable ideals.

With the development and integration of digital media throughout our daily lives, closer relationships, habits and addictions have developed.
Overwhelmed by the amount of content, easily accessed; by a simple swipe, tug or tap, its clear more responsibility needs to be taken over the content accessible to audiences.

Re-contextualising popular cosmetic advertisements imagery, this piece highlights how images (similar to suicide/self-harm marks), and names like; ‘Naughty-Nude’, ‘Topless’, ‘Damsel’, etc. are utilised to fulfil a certain type of female ideal, addressing how unhelpful these messages are in tackling taboos around mental health.

Recent stories report how social media negatively affects mental health, and 1/5 14-year olds have, or do self-harm.

Combining these images with the way social media algorithms target and push content can lead to deeply disturbing behaviour and triggering imagery (of self-harm and suicide).

Mixing visual art, printmaking and fashion/ textiles to create something wearable, takes these images from their abstract and inaccessible existence within a screen, making them attainable and accessible.
Embodied and worn they embrace the shape and textures of the fabric, disrupting the ‘perfect image’ and confronting the ideal with the real body/person.

1781

‘Stained; (long lasting finish)’
(coat; textile, print)

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