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NOW Foundation’s Love Your Body campaign

December 3, 2011

The National Organization for Women sponsors an annual Love Your Body campaign and a poster design contest to boot.

My poster design won last year’s contest in the open/non-student category. I was so honored!

I sent in three designs to this year’s contest — click on the thumbnails to see larger versions.

As you see, I explore the theme: “Not A Slave To Fashion.”

In each design, the woman’s figure is silhouetted in black. This woman is of any and every race, age, and ethnicity.

Still, the figure refers to the enslavement of Africans and African-Americans in 18th- and 19th- century America.

In those times, the production-based economy depended upon manual labor; slavery appropriated the body’s muscle-power as a means of production.

Our economy now depends less upon production and more upon consumption. Defining women’s bodies as defective, corporate marketing generates dissatisfaction with the body’s appearance and appropriates this discontent as a motive for consumer spending.

The shift from a producer-based to a consumer-based economy has made slavery less overt, more subtle, even seductive. It’s slavery all the same, an attempt to steal individuals’ autonomy and sense of self-worth while making their health and well-being secondary to someone else’s profit.

What would we be doing with our resources if we were no longer slaves to fashion? If we were no longer pre-occupied with fixing our “defective” bodies? If women truly occupied our bodies with full and compassionate presence, how might we use our time, attention, energy, and money to heal ourselves, our communities, our world?

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