Tuesday, November 9, 2010

Beauty and the Beholder

Sitting down to think about the process of making our video documentary, to me, is more daunting than actually filming it. Throughout the process of making this video, I felt both the awe and terror of what we were actually doing. How do we begin to challenge the way in which we view our bodies or how other people see them? To me, it always seems to come down to power and how power is both presented and used especially when it involves our bodies.

Power is a tricky thing. Throughout this video, we all made the conscious decision to play with the power of being the "Filmer" or what is meant to be "filmed." After much internal debate, I made the decision that I did not want to be the one to film, at all. Power is scary and I wanted to make sure that dynamic, me a man filming two women's very personal account of their bodies and how editing affects them, wasn't taking away from our overall message of reclaiming bodily power.

More specifically, reclaiming that bodily power needs to happen by us and not by the "authority." I discovered this after our second draft of the video was complete. We had taken out both a "male and female" authoritative clip that we had found that dealt with the issues we were discussing. If we were talking about reclaiming bodily power back from the media then why did I, or we, feel that this voice was needed? Why did I feel that something was missing when we took it out?

To me, I felt that this issue really got at the heart of what we were doing. We crave this "authoritative" voice whether we like or not because it is socially and culturally written all over our bodies and in our lives. Through the process I realized that we were that voice and more importantly, the reason why I felt so uneasy about it being gone was because change isn't easy. Changing the way both we and society view our bodies and our power is difficult, but in my opinion, our video does just that. I don't feel uneasy talking about my voice now because I have critically reflected upon how people judge me and how culture judges me and used my own voice, not someone else, to be the authority. We critique the media and culture because we can and that is both power and being powerful. In doing this project, I feel like I have freed myself in someway and it is both empowering and scary but that is why it needs to be done.

It is not until we recognize our own power, that the "authoritative power" that has dictated our lives thus far becomes obsolete. It is not until we reclaim power of our unedited bodies that we become truly beautiful.

Beauty is in the eye of the beholder but now, the eye belongs to me and that,
is truly