WEARABLE JEWELLERY TECHNOLOGY
Subversion of the male gaze. The male gaze is a feminist theory coined by Laura Mulvey. The male gaze is the idea of having the male interest in mind. It invokes sexual politics and women are often stripped of their dignity, compromising their sexuality to sate men. Mimosa is meant to give women a sense of empowerment, to have control of when to activate the piece and subvert the male gaze
THE MALE GAZE
The male gaze empowers men at the same time it invokes sexual politics of the gaze commonly seen in advertisement, film and comics. Men are used to the idea of gazing at women and objectifying them with little or no guilty conscience. They believe that it is a social norm to behave the way they do because it is the status quo.
Unfortunately, this attract behaviors from men that are unwelcoming. Mimosa was created as an opposing act towards the male gaze, it was meant to give women a sense of empowerment to cover their bust line when they feel their area are being violated by uninvited stares.
It is important to acknowledge the women who has been fighting for their rights in this field, it is unfair for me to put myself on the spotlight as a man, to bring out this topic and shadow all the women who has been fighting for their rights.
This is an acknowledgement for all the women who has fought for what they believe and are still fighting, I respect your work you have done and I wish you to continue fighting and I will keep standing beside you.
We have seen many women being objectified by media, movies are one of the common platform where women are meant to sate men. If we look well into centuries ago before the development of film, when paintings are seen as a way to capture the moment, we can observe that many male painters distort portions of a women to further enhance their physical appearance based on the males desire. Madonna with a long neck is an example of the many paintings where women are meant as an object of desire.
In the world we live in it is made easier for men to reach out for materials to satisfy them. Unfortunately, some of these men transcended their private behavior in public when they interact with women. Catcalls, misdemeanor behavior are a few common signs that the male gaze has caused without men realizing it. I question if men do realize what they did is wrong or do they even have the guilty conscience when they behave that way.
I began to wonder the possibilities of making a statement for men to realize this. I looked into fashion and how fashion could convey a message.
Women feel uncomfortable when men look at their bust area
They wish to wear and show whatever they want but feel safe
They feel violated when men stare at them for too long
There are women who strong advocate for feminist movement
They want to have their own empowerment
They want to show men that they need to know the boundaries
Freedom to wear anything they wish
I expected men to respect womens boundaries
I assumed women feel confident of themselves and not vulnerable
I expected women to have control of how they feel when they don't
There is an opportunity to cover the women's bust area when they feel like it
There is an opportunity to tell men off when they go over board with the stare
There is an opportunity for women to feel empowered by having control
Women can feel confident without the gaze by having full control of themselves
Women are often treated as sex object, a way to pleasure men or to state the heterosexual male especially in the west. These objectification by the said profiles has negative consequences.
When being objectified, they feel vulnerable. Women are not sure whether these objectification could lead into something far more physical than just catcalls or stares
Covering up is one option. But, women to want to feel empowered, to have the freedom to wear what they want and be who they want to be.
USER WEARS A DRESS WITH LOW CLEVAGE
USER GOES FOR A CASUAL GATHERING AT A BAR WITH FEMALE FRIENDS
A FEW MEN STARES AT HER BUT ONE IN PARTICULAR KEPT CATCALLING & STARING
USER FEELS UNSAFE AND VULNERABLE
Succumb to status quo
How to avoid these feelings?
How to make women feel more empowered and in control of the situation?
Giving women the sense of empowerment.
Getting too involved with the feelings
Women feel vulnerable to a point they worry they might get sexually assaulted
To make women feel safe and empowered
28 Years Old
Nicole is a business consultant and she frequent meeting clients for business purposes. In her free time, she enjoys dressing up and meeting her close friends, spending time in a bar or the likes. She always get catcalls and stares when she is not in her business attire and she is afraid of being harassed.
Dressing up and spending time with her friends
Strong women but feels vulnerable when men gives her the catcall or stares
Doesn't feel safe being alone
Goals & Needs
Make her feel empowered and safe
Gives her the freedom to wear what she wants without feeling harassed
DRESS FOR COMFORT
From the research and interviews, women would prefer to wear what makes them comfortable. They do not like to succumb to the status quo and dress to feel restricted. There is a resistance but at the same time they are vulnerable too. However, they do not mind having accessories that would complement the dress they are wearing.
"I don't like the idea of covering, but I do not
mind having an accessory that
would get the gaze away!"
THE WEARABLE DESIGN
Conceptualizing and sketching the wearable design is paramount. The main focus was to create a wearable that the user can use as an accessory that would complement what the user is wearing. It must be small and light yet achieving the goal at the same time. The rapid prototyping, quick and dirty helped tremendously with feedbacks.
RAPID PROTOTYPING 1
Rapid prototyping 1 gave an interesting perspective and the potential mechanics of the wearable piece. It opens up a new paradigm and possible route for the project. I then explored the possibility of recreating a fan movement.