Saturday, October 19, 2013

What Body Language Looks Like

From the Eyes of the Other Sex 

 Audrey Leonard

Project Proposal

For Women and Media my final project will be a photography composition. I will do a casting for five women and five men. After they have been chosen I will photograph them all in three positions. First, I will ask for a natural pose. Second, I will ask for a feminine pose and then finally a masculine pose. I am interested to see what stereotypes of women and men people will choose to create with their bodies. This will show what body language they associate with each gender. I am also considering interviewing them after I have finished photographing the subjects and then show them their photos. I will ask them why they chose each pose and what they think it will convey. And finally I will ask them to pose in an androgynous manner.
I do photography for Cult. Magazine at Hunter and have worked as an assistant and intern for several photographers, because photography is something I will potentially do with my future I’d like to include it in my school work and final project. If the photos are a collection to be proud of I would like to show it off and attempt to see where I could exhibit the work. I would like these photos to be a very straight forward and classic portrait style like more modern Walker Evans, maybe something similar to the portrait Annie Leibovitz did for the anniversary of Vogue of the editors over the years. It was a beautiful portrait. I will also research body language stereotypes and pull photos to analyze and compare and contrast with my own photos.

       One of my inspirations comes from the portrait of Vogue editors that can be seen from this website . It was startling to see how powerful these women appeared. Many of their poses could potentially be categorized as masculine.        
To me, in my industry, these are the most influential women in the world. They choose the trends that will stay around for years. Many of them have never married and are the idols that young women strive to be like. The embody feminine success. They also encourage heels and the more painful trends we see in the fashion world. The new and crazy is their normal, to not be pushing boundaries would be wrong. They choose a life of fashion and work rather than children and housework. Jade Hobson, Babs Simpson, Phyllis Posnick, Carlyne Cerf De Dudzeele (Bottom Middle), Polly Mellen, Grace Coddington, Camilla Nickerson and Tonne Goodman are some of the most powerful women in the world, in one of the biggest brands of fashion in the world but their names are largely unknown. Anna Wintour is known but the editors who support her are not. I'm still working on my sources and feeling out my topics of resource so please leave all the comments you can.


  1. I really like the idea of your project, I am really interested to see the impact these images give off. One thing I am wondering is how are you going to dictate the clothing they wear? because I do feel like the choice of garment would impact the outcome of the different poses. And what about the body type of these men and women? I am sure they will have an impact on how feminine or masculine their poses look. I am very interested to see how you will choose these models.

  2. I admire the concept of this proposal. I think it would work beautifully on someone meticulous like me, but to the majority, they might not understand. A key factor in your process would be that of choosing candidates. I'd say to be careful when deciding on a person because of the variations each person may be able to portray. For instance, if you chose a feminine man over a masculine man, their posture wouldn't be as riveting thus hindering the effectiveness of your project altogether. Good Luck!

  3. This is super interesting. Body language comprises so much of communication, but we rarely talk about it. I feel like it's going to be a tough thing to write about, but I think you're headed in the right direction. Maybe it would be a good idea to think about what gives certain body language gender connotations in the first place. I'm excited to see what poses your models choose, and how they explain those choices.

    It's cool to think that if you did this on a massive scale (well, with more than three subjects) you could actually extrapolate some interesting data from the results. But that might be a tad impractical.

  4. Body language says a ton about who we are and our comfort levels in any situation. It might be interesting to explore how body language is different across different groups of people. Certain things are not necessarily universal in my opinion. I second that candidate selection is critical as its essential to select people how come from many different backgrounds.