Jar number 1: Barbie under pressure. This jar is symbolic of women under pressure, striving for perfection. Barbie represents an unrealistic ideal of the female body image, an image that is continually reinforced through media: movies, magazines and TV. The Barbie in this jar is contorted in an unnatural fashion; just as women continually put unnatural pressures on themselves to strive towards the images and expectations that continually bombard them. The fact that Barbie is in water represents the female in today’s society always trying to keep her head above water but not always succeeding. In essence, Barbie is drowning.
Jar number 2: The masks we wear. In one sense, the items in this jar represent the ways in which women strive to be beautiful: a razor to shave leg and armpit hair; anti-aging cream to keep wrinkles at bay; foundation to create young flawless looking skin; lipstick to add colour; lacquer for the nails; tweezers to pluck those stray hairs… These are physical ways in which we try to hide our perceived flaws. However, this jar also symbolizes the masks we wear to hide our vulnerability. It is the difference between our private selves and our public selves. Each and every day with each and every person every one of us chooses what we will reveal. We create the image that we want to project.
Jar number 3: What’s super about that? Superwoman, super mom, the female executive, the domestic diva, and the sex goddess – it’s difficult to be it all. This jar illustrates the many roles the average female juggles and how we cope. The women’s liberation movement has brought about much freedom for females, but in many ways it has also created many pressures: stress and lack of time being just two. Many women work full time (represented by the money in the jar), yet working mothers still do about twice as much housework as their husbands (Morin, R. & M. Rosenfeld, 1998), (represented by the scrub rag). The condoms represent the responsibility of birth control that is often in the hands of the female. The diaper pin represents the female’s involvement in childrearing. The keys represent the running of errands, the transporting of children to various activities and the commute. How does she cope with it all? Is it the five cups of coffee? Mood altering drugs? Or the occasional headache medication?