Projects Room Gallery 1
Feminist thought, Feminist movement -- curated project series

Amelia M. Falk
Feminine/Feminist – fighting the plastic fantastic

© Amelia M. Falk   That's it I'm done    20” x 20”  2006

Fem•i•nine adj: 1. conventionally believed to be appropriate for a woman or girl.
2. considered to be specific to women
3. used to describe or relating to a class of words or forms in various languages that includes the majority of words referring to females.

Fem•i•nist n: somebody who believes in the need to secure rights and opportunities for women equal to those of men, or somebody who works to secure these rights and opportunities.
adj.: relating to, believing in, or working for rights and opportunities for women equal to those of men

(Encarta® World English Dictionary © 1999)

© Amelia M. Falk   Since the moment I arrived I had to fight for myself    20” x 20”  2006

As defined in my dictionary, these terms contradict each other, and the “wild ways” of the feminist movement challenge the very idea of being “feminine”. A feminist is a woman who fights to gain equality in a male-driven world, while the idea of the feminine is exemplified through media models of what a “girl” should be. She is constantly cute with perky breasts and a year-round tan.

© Amelia M. Falk   My husband died the day before our divorce. So, now I live with my friend which I like better than my marriage    20” x 20”  2006

She should never weigh over one hundred and twenty pounds and she must continue to look young, no matter how many years have passed since she was born.

© Amelia M. Falk   I'm glad I've survived long enough to become a grandmother    20” x 20”  2006

Young women look at these models of the “plastic fantastic” body-type and measure themselves against them, all too often undermining their own sense of self-worth in the process.

© Amelia M. Falk   I don't know why you would want me for a model    20” x 20”  2007

This happens because we women are taught to assess ourselves through the eyes of others instead of judging our own accomplishments as men are taught to do.

© Amelia M. Falk   It's just me, that's it    20” x 20”  2006

The world of art has contributed to this habit through the strategy of the “male gaze” that has affected portrayals of women throughout art history. Artistic images displayed women as objects for male eyes to enjoy and as playthings for male consumption, while images of strong women only rarely appeared.

© Amelia M. Falk   I knew it was time for divorce, when I found the gay porn under our bed    20” x 20”  2006

Today’s plastic body types paraded across billboards continue this long-term practice. Yet those plastic women become role models for young girls and feed their insecurities as they make their own traditions into adulthood.

© Amelia M. Falk   We've survived a lot together already    20” x 20”  2006

As a young woman, I myself read fashion magazines that led me to believe I would never be good enough for anyone because I was slightly overweight. This led to bouts of depression and medication.

© Amelia M. Falk   You get an enlargement for a man, you get a reduction for yourself    20” x 20”  2006

As I’ve grown older, however, I’ve come to accept my inevitable wrinkles and sagging skin and to realize that they are part of what makes me me. My life is being written upon my body and my body is okay because I have grown more interesting as the story of my life unfolds on my skin.

© Amelia M. Falk   It makes me sad to know that my son will not know his father    20” x 20”  2006

It was real women who have helped me to this realization, starting with my mother. Among other things, she taught me about goddess traditions, and I

© Amelia M. Falk   Its crazy to think I saw my sister being born and now her son as well    20” x 20”  2006

always wanted to create my own powerful female images to inspire and guide me. The images in this show are my attempt to do this. Its models are real women of all ages whose bodies are progressing through life’s natural stages.

© Amelia M. Falk   I will my life out loud    20” x 20”  2006

Their photographs are taken in a space made to feel comfortable and safe. They are just sitting with a friend who is talking to them and encouraging them to show sides of themselves that they wouldn’t necessarily open to the world.

© Amelia M. Falk   AAAAEEEEEYAAAAHHH (WILD WOMAN YELL)    20” x 20”  2006

They know that I will not judge them and even those who are shy start to come out of their shells during the session. Their bodies and poses reflect these small private moments shared with a girlfriend in a non-sexual, non-threatening environment.

© Amelia M. Falk   I just decided to laugh instead of cry    20” x 20”  2006

In such a relaxed, all-female context, they show themselves to be beautiful, thinking, feeling people who reflect their inner selves through their skin. They have survived through various trials and are okay with the way they look.

© Amelia M. Falk   Her boyfriend considers me the bad influence    20” x 20”  2006

They invite viewers to join them in accepting themselves and realizing that their own minds and hearts are what make them truly beautiful. They are feminists and feminine at the same time. They offer a true model for women to live up to.
- Amelia M. Falk

All photographs are Editions of 25. For purchase availability please contact Rhonda Schaller, Gallery Director

Amelia M. Falk – Artist Profile and Portfolio