Ainoa Cerdeira Gonzalez
Be Ashamed of Body-Shame
Prompt: The final assignment for the course Mental Health by Design consisted of using different research tools to understand how these drive design. Students were asked to engage in researching a topic of their choosing and develop an annotated bibliography and final research paper. Based on research findings, students had to design an artifact (object, toolkit, system, platform, etc.) that supports mental health advocacy. Media was open to students’ discretion.
For my final project, I worked on creating a video that targets college students, specifically college girls, while raising awareness on body shame. I collected data and interviewed some peers before doing the performance. While creating my short film, I was able to talk to different people and listen to their personal stories as they also got to write and express themselves on my body. It was beyond impactful to see how people stopped and stared at my performance while also commenting on the bravery that it takes to stand up and do something like that, which made me feel beyond proud. As I was doing the performance, the photographer Scott Schuman, known as “The Sartorialist”, happened to be taking pictures in the area. He then decided to take a couple of photographs of my project and posted it on his Instagram account. Afterwards, I was contacted by Tayler Adigun, from Yahoo Lifestyle, since she wanted to conduct an interview about the background story of this project. Adigun posted an article about my project and as soon as it was out, the company Daily Mail contacted me so that they could publish another article and use my video. This project got me out of my comfort zone in every way possible. It was very tough to put myself in such a vulnerable position, but it was all worth it. Seeing how many people came up to write what they have been told before was very shocking. Some came up with anger and some with smiles, I could feel the different pressure that was being applied to my body while each person wrote. It not only raised awareness on the topic, but also allowed other peers to know that they are not alone. This project will stay in my heart forever.