Women’s bodies have been used to a maximum extent for voyeuristic male sexual pleasure. Through cinema and literature we grew up offered images of naked, sexualized women, displayed for, and created by, the male gaze. Most of us (men and women) have internalized these images as normal and common and we unconsciously reproduce them through our art. If we want to change the perception of women, we need to change their representation in literature, art, media, and fashion. We need to destroy the images that we consumed growing up, we need to unlearn what we think is a good and appealing picture.
As a woman and a photographer, when portraying women I realized I was sometimes reproducing cliches of sexualized women, images seen in movies, images created by other male photographers, by books and more broadly seen in a general visual culture. It suddenly seemed important to step back and think about the images I and we were creating.
Shegazes is an attempt to show women outside any sexualization.