Finding Heteronormativity in the Raw/Bold Beauty Project Artworks, and Defying Heteronormativity In the Artworks of “Je T'aime Moi Aussi” and “Alison Lapper Pregnant.”



King, Kami J

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Herein lies a critique of various artworks by the Raw and Bold Beauty Projects NYC (2006 & 2015), Olivier Fermiello’s “Je t’aime moi aussi” (2014) photographs, and Marc Quinn’s Alison Lapper Pregnant (2000) statue, created by using various feminist and feminist disability studies ideals and outlooks in regards to pointing out ableist and heteronormative ideals and ideology in Western, patriarchal society media and the artworks that defy the typical heteronormative ideals concerning women with disabilities. The critiques will separate out what I deem as the positive and negative “markers” that depict women with disabilities as unique and sexual (unless they identify as asexual). The more positive images will show the subject using her own agency, subverting the oppressive male gaze in her own way because they will not be trying to fit into the patriarchal mold since the subjects would never be accepted by typical patriarchal norms. More negative images will depict the subjects as sexual women with disabilities, but will also reproduce typical, Western, patriarchal norms that all women under the male gaze are forced into. By comparing the two, the normalness of sexuality and disability will become apparent by showing the subjects through their own lens on their own terms (although all of the photographs are mediated by the photographer’s gaze) – not by trying to fit into a mold that will never accept them. The subjects of the artworks will plainly be making their own impact on their artworks by creating their own sexual spaces within the artworks; excessive use of Photoshop, unnatural poses, and being the center of their own artworks are just some of the ways that the women shown will positively use their artworks to display and show their own unique agency and sexuality with a disability.



Feminist, Disability, Feminist disability, The Gaze, Heteronormativity, Sexuality