The Gap

What gap are we talking about?

    Photo credit: Jerome Delay—AP                                                                    Photo credit: Barbie@ Dreamskinny on Tumblr

 

Photo credit: Jerome Delay—AP                                                                    Photo credit: Barbie@ Dreamskinny on Tumblr

1. The first image was borrowed from Time Magazine's Best Pictures of the Week.  The image taken by Jerome Delay shows a Rwandan woman being walked down "from the bush in the hills 15 kilometers (9 miles) outside Bangui, Central African Republic, as Rwandan troops tell her to calm down during a weapons search operation."  The link to this image can be found here: TIME’s Best Pictures of the Week: January 24 – January 31 - LightBox http://lightbox.time.com/2014/01/31/pictures-of-the-week-january-24-january-31/#ixzz2tDxYKj5c

2. The second image is part of an article published in the French Huffington Post about women's obsession with being thin.  This particular article focuses on anorexia and the importance of the "thigh gap" as proof of one's thinness and hard work.  Today many women post self-portraits of their bodies to be part of an anorexic club.  This photo was posted by Barbie ♡ @ Dreamskinny and the article can be found here: http://www.huffingtonpost.fr/2013/10/01/thigh-gap-risques-obsessions-minceur_n_4021128.html

3. The overlay quote "U.N. Report Says Progress for Women is Unequal" comes from an article in the New York Times by SOMINI SENGUPTA and published February 12th, 2014.  In the article, she discusses the United Nation's recent conclusion that poorer women from around the world have not progressed much in the last 20 years in terms of social status and especially as regards maternal death and child marriage.   As she explains, "[I]n poor countries...pregnancy and childbirth are the leading cause of death among young women ages 15-19."  

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I'm fascinated by the different issues women face in different parts of the world.  How does the photograph from the Central African Republic intersect and connect with the photo of a girl's obsession with the size of the gap between her legs?  In Central African Republic today there is a struggle between the Christian and Muslim leaders and women and their children are finding themselves in the middle of this.  This is what women there are dealing with everyday. In much of the West, physical beauty and perfection (often translated as self-control) has continued to penetrate the minds of young women convincing them that not attaining a certain physical goal is tantamount to utter failure as a woman.

Though the two images are strikingly different in subject matter, and although at first glance one might not see a connection, there is a significant amount of pain and loss of self-control that resonates in both.  I would be interested to know how these women would relate to each other if they met, how would they speak about these images of their pain. I find it interesting that one is image is from the eyes of an outsider while the other is how the subject views herself or desires others to view her.  Who is in control of both these women? 

Related articles:

(Fighting Erupts in C. African Republic)

(U.N. Report says Progress for Women is Unequal)