Shay Wilson – Bare Bears: The Male Gaze and Exploitation of Women in Pornography

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Faculty mentor: CoCo James

Artist’s Statement: The pornography industry is inherently exploitative of women of all races and, in most cases, caters to the male gaze, regardless of who the intended audience is. This exploitation and perpetuation of the male gaze directly contributes to the mental, emotional, and physical health of women that are part of this industry. In many cases, the industry tries to cover up this harm when women come forward with their stories of abuse. It is also common for porn sites to profit off their stories. Seemingly no matter what women do within the industry, men are the ones with the power, as is typical in society. However, it is not unheard of for women to reclaim their power and be the ones in charge. In this art piece, several marginalized groups are represented, as well as women that are reclaiming their power. Those groups include queer women, transgender women, women of color, as well as minors that are victims of human trafficking and exploited in pornography. As you look at the teddy bears in this piece, I hope you take a moment to look at every aspect, as everything is done intentionally and with purpose. Some things, such as the use of red glitter glue, are representative of the glorification of violence. Other things are not so obvious, and I hope you are able to ponder the deeper implications of what women experience within the porn industry.

View my art below!
Questions or comments? Contact me at: shaylynngw01@gmail.com

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