Mercedes Williamson

Mercedes Williamson



Description of Work


Way Each Word  2021 - Website, Digital graphics, Posters, Cards, Stickers - Not for Sale

Artist's Statement


In recent years, there has been the rise of a new trend on social media called “Bo-Po” or  “Body Positivity.” This movement aims to challenge narrow beauty ideals and encourage  appreciation of bodies of all shapes and sizes. With this movement, many steps were  taken in the right direction towards body positivity Online. Even so, the influx of positive  comments and remarks are still focused on the body specifically, and this can sometimes  do more harm than good. Body comments or body talk is complicated because the  relationship people have with their bodies is more complex than just good or bad. We truly  do not know what goes on in another person’s life or what goes on in their mind, so when  it comes to saying something about someone’s body, we sometimes just shouldn’t say  anything at all.  

Overall, the body positivity movement needs to move in a direction that is more inclusive.  One way we are able to achieve this is by adjusting our language centered around  other’s bodies. The things we say have a powerful effect on someone both mentally and  physically. There tends to be so much hate on social media nowadays, sometimes now  more than ever. These hateful comments are usually geared towards other peoples’ bodies  specifically, more-so towards people of marginalized bodies. Alternatively, we as a society  tend to want to combat this negativity seen Online and leave body positive comments and  compliments instead. However, the words we choose can sometimes be more harmful  towards the person we intended it for than we imagined.  

To be more inclusive in the body positivity movement, we need to address our current  language system and change the way we think. My website will serve as my main touch  point for this, as it will take you through an interactive quiz where you will determine just  how body positive your language actually is. It will also shed light on why some comments  are harmful, and why others are better suggestions. At the end of the quiz, you will be  provided with a list of newly acquired body positive comments you can now use Online.  My posters will serve as corresponding visuals to display bodies of all shapes and sizes  alongside examples of my newly suggested body positive compliments that values all  people and create benefits that are both psychological and physical.  

I will have tiny takeaway cards people may take with them after viewing my project that  will continue to remind them of the new language approach with new suggestions that we  all can use to help be more inclusive in our language. These cards will also have a sticker  attached with the phrase as well, so that you will be prompted with the opportunity to share  a compliment with someone else, either with the card or the sticker. 

Finally, I have created an Instagram account for my campaign that will be utilized as an  effective platform to spread the campaign digitally, since it is an Online-focused campaign.  In the end, I hope that my project will continue to reinforce the appreciation of bodies of  all shapes and sizes by providing the information and tools needed to have a more body  positive centered language.

Link to Artist's Website

If you wish to purchase any of these pieces, please contact the gallery director, Jacqueline Nathan (jnathan@bgsu.edu.)

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