• katiemcgowan

The Female Gaze

Art has never been shy about the female form. But whilst happy to depict it visually, it’s often reluctant to represent the person that comes with it.

However, now in Art, media and film there’s a move toward depicting women from their own view point - the female gaze.

You may have heard of the male gaze, and whilst some don’t believe the female gaze exists, this how I’ve come to understand and explain it..

Under the male gaze, the woman becomes a passive object, not an active subject. Thus commodifying the female body. Whereas the female gaze is very different. It seeks to empathise, rather than objectify. It represents women in a way that women can relate to, in a way that is intimate but not sexualised.

The main differentiator between male vs female gaze for me, is ownership. Who is the Art made by? And who is it made for? If it’s made by a man, for men, it’s likely to be under the male gaze and visa versa. Of course all Art is nuanced and can’t be put into boxes, but personally, I’m glad for the increasing number of works from the female gaze.

I’ve found an amazing community of women who resonate with my Art (nearly 90% of my social media followers are women). Obviously my Art features women, so this is probably unsurprising in some ways. But I also use my art to create work that resonates with women in something beyond a pretty picture. And I think creating from the perspective of women is part of that.

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