Women & Girls Share Experiences Of Being Shamed, And The Stories Are Heartbreaking
The Wall Of Shamed is a participatory installation and online platform in which women and girls are invited to share their experiences of being shamed.
Body shaming. Fat shaming. Slut shaming. Period shaming. Mother shaming. Food shaming. Gender shaming. Victim shaming. The list goes on…
Experiences can also be shared physically on the wall, which is on display in Melbourne, Australia at the Victorian College of the Arts Masters Graduate Exhibition.
You may like to share your experiences in a response to this post, or write it down on a piece of paper, photograph it and stick it on your Instagram or Facebook feed with the hashtag #wallofshamed.
Or if you would like your experience to remain private, just tell me about it in the form on the website and I will share your story anonymously on the wall for you.
I started the project because of my personal experiences of having been shamed. I’d been told I needed to go to Jenny Craig as a child and was teased as a teenager because my breasts developed early. These comments shaped who I am as a person, and I’m sure they had a lot to do with the eating disorders I experienced throughout my teens and early twenties.
I wanted to offer an opportunity for women and girls to share their experiences because as the saying goes ‘a problem shared is a problem halved’. I realize that it’s often hard to publicly acknowledge and share these experiences of shame so I placed the wall in a corner, so people could write privately. Women and girls may also write to me anonymously, and I will share their story on the wall or on the Instagram feed.
We know that women and girls are shamed throughout their lives for not living up to patriarchally prescribed ideals of ‘womanliness’.
The expectation is that women are thin, but not too thin. That their breasts are perky and don’t sag. That they don’t have cellulite, that their legs are long and their tummy flat. Menstruation is taboo in several religious orders and often considered dirty and impure. If a woman is seen to be too sexually active or dressing in a sexy way she will be shamed as a slut. The onset of motherhood can see women being shamed for all number of infections; the shaming women receive for their screaming toddler in the supermarket, for breastfeeding in public, or simply being a teen mum or a single mum are but a few ways women are shamed for not living up to the lofty heights of the perfect mother. Women and girls are shamed for their choices in dress; a girl who enjoys rough play and sports is labeled a tom-boy and if a woman chooses to have short hair and wear ‘unfeminine’ clothing she will be ostracized for not being ‘feminine’ enough. When women and girls reveal that they have been raped or sexually abused the first thing they’re asked is what they were wearing and how they were behaving.
Did someone say something to you that hurt you? Did you receive a ‘look’ that made you feel less than? Have you been degraded or shamed simply for being female? Were you teased because of what you look like, or something you said? Did someone physically or mentally abuse you?
Please feel welcome to share your stories, your pain, your suffering. You may use illustrations or words to express yourself on this wall. It is yours.
A wallpapered wall with a photo of a pregnant schoolgirl and a satchel filled with marker pens
Perhaps the most shamed person in society is the pregnant teenage girl
The artist, Suzie Blake, as a pregnant teenage schoolgirl
The satchel filled with marker pens, inviting women and girls to write up their experiences of being shamed on the wall
Keep Yourself Nice
They wrote about me
Can’t Play Soccer
Lose Some Weight
I Do Take Shit, Sometimes
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