Sex Sells, But How Do Women Profit?

This piece is a personal reflection on how my immediate circles are microcosms of the social sphere. I believe I have been influenced by the white, male dominated society that has historically, sexualized women. Because I am visibly female, I feel pressured to comply to these social standards and expectations. Women’s sexuality is marketed for the male viewer. She is meant to pleasure her man. I am meant to pleasure my viewers.

Hickerson, For Play, 2019, 4ft x 4ft.


Over the past 4 years, I’ve studied many feminist artworks that involve nudity, and wonder if they (the artist or subject presenting their nude body) could ever successfully challenge the male gaze.

An argument is that since these artworks are produced by the feminine eye (instead of by a male artist), it challenges the objectification and allows women to embody their own narrative, create their own identity.

Honestly, I’m still unsure on whether or not exercising the female nude as a woman artist challenges the male gaze, but I’ve become aware that taking ownership of my femininity and sensuality feels damn empowering – especially when female pleasure/reproductive health etc. are censored or hidden from direct view.


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