LONDON — From time immemorial, making comments about a woman’s appearance has been seen as fair game.
And, if you’re a woman, being on the receiving end of those comments is just par for the course.
One British woman has documented every comment made about her appearance in the most apropos way possible — by wearing them.
Designer Jojo Oldham painted the comments — be they about her face or body — on a white dress and turned it into a beautiful work of art.
“Ever since people started commenting on my appearance — so, from the age of about 6 — those comments have stuck with me and will pop into my mind when I’m getting dressed or when I catch sight of whatever piece of me they were commenting on,” Oldham told Mashable.
The comments include catcalls like “hubba hubba,” “pert ‘n’ perky,” and “sheesh,” as well as longer comments like “plenty to grab hold of,” and “I’ll have some of that.”
“As I got older and those comments have swirled round and round my head, it dawned on me just how many different things people have said to me about my body and I knew I had to turn it into a piece of art,” Oldham continued.
Oldham says she started out painting the comments on paper, but realised that it would be better to create something she could wear. She bought a cheap white dress and started painting.
“In the past I would have felt embarrassed to make such an honest piece because I felt there was truth in the negative things people have said about me, but now I don’t feel that need to fight my body and try and make it fit a mould that it clearly wasn’t made to fit,” Oldham continued.
Oldham says she’s reached a point in her life where she loves and respects her body and likes who she is.
“Kids learn to dissect their appearance and be critical of themselves and each other at a really young age, and that’s really worrying,” she says.
Indeed, a recent report found that an estimated 700,000 girls aged 10 to 15 feel unhappy about their appearance.
“I just wanted to open up a bit of a discussion about how we treat each other and how we talk about our bodies,” Oldham continued.