the beefcake dress

My first dress, known affectionately as the Beefcake dress (thanks to fellow artist Mara Sternberg for inspiring the name!) is made of fabric tiled with images of Playgirl centerfolds. As an undergrad at the University of Virginia, I took a great Sociology class with Carey Sargent about popular culture. In one class, we watched a documentary by a friend of hers about the 'formulas' of pornography. People were given the option to opt out beforehand, as we were warned it was quite graphic. Having never seen pornography before, I was definitely alarmed (as were many of my female classmates, gauging by their reactions) by how the women were treated. However, we all sat through it, no one left. This all changed when the montages switched from heterosexual porn to gay male porn. Almost immediately there was a mass exodus of males from the room (led by the token members of the football team who happened to be in the class). I was absolutely mesmerized by the display of heterosexual male fragility and insecurity wrapped up in this incredibly homophobic gesture. This dress works on the assumption that a man who would be inclined to objectify women would also be the type to be find gay porn deeply threatening.

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