My dissertation and research project on the commodification of fourth wave feminism (2012 to present day). This study investigated academic essays that analyse the fourth waves refusal of the male gaze and instead, adopting the new female gaze through Laura Mulvey’s original 1975 framework. This essay seeks to understand the visual markers of fourth-wave feminism such as the colour pink; using the 2016 pink pussyhats as a prime example of a form of protest materialised through an object, much like the Suffragettes rosette. I also researched into glitter as an aesthetic and its subsequent radical symbolism in-line with feminism and LGBTQ+ political dissent. These are activist events that have made great use of the impact of visual images in what they do, that have used visual signifiers to provide identity and build solidarity. I used the works of Petra Collins and Mayan Toledano as it is the work of female photographers capturing women online that ‘significantly contribute to the postcolonial discourse through the revision and production of postcolonial fashion imaginaries.’ This points towards the breakdown of sex and gender roles, exposes social constructs and ’perhaps even gestures towards the dissolution of the sex/gender system.’ My focus was on Collins’ and Toledano’s examples that related to the fourth wave of feminism, testing these ideas through a Millennial and Gen Z lens.
Kim Kardashian by Petra Collins 2016
Feminist Knickers by Mayan Toledano 2014
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