Courtney Rose Hannen, BFA Senior Exhibition, from "Imagined Perfection," 2013Imagined Perfection

What is beauty? As media consumers, we are continually bombarded with a very narrow definition of what "beauty" can be. Imagined Perfection confronts issues of body image and questions the media's restriction and misrepresentation of the female figure. My work juxtaposes collaged images of "beauty" pulled from current fashion, health, and pornography magazines with drawn, "less desirable" but more common body types in order to emphasize the discrepancies seducing women to buy beauty products and diet programs and buy into the idea of their own inadequacy.

The series is a reflection of my own relationship and experience with negative body image, a small piece of which is shared by many women of my generation. Each piece utilizes the importance of pose and ambiguity of body through solid black contours and collage. The collection draws on the works of Andrea Mary Marshall, Michael Reedy, samples of Japanese graphic novels, various scholarly papers on body image, eating disorders, and my own relationship with my body as I created the work. The goal of this series is to celebrate the beauty of all bodies, to open a dialogue on institutionalized body dysphoria, and to empathize those who feel dejected by the pressures of the imaginary, flawless human form.

November 8 – November 19, 2013
Highsmith Art & Intercultural Gallery, Highsmith University Union
Gallery Hours: M-F, 9:00 a.m.–6:00 p.m.; Sun: 12:00–6:00 p.m.
Opening Reception: November 8, 6:00–8:00 p.m.
Free and open to the public