in this project i decided to make a performance with a protest rod puppet that speaks about the pressuring beauty standards that our society brainwashes us to look a certain way. it’s related to my research paper that i did in Sem. which was about the westernization of beauty standards. but for my studio project i decided to tweak it a little bit and make a character that impersonates the resulting of my target; not attacking the people that chose to do plastic surgeries for their own self-satisfaction. but the people that were a victim to our brainwashing society forcing us to be insecure about ourselves and our natural beauty and how we should look a certain way to be accepted and to be beautiful . this can result in serious mental health problems and perhaps addiction to plastic surgery. noting that not all plastic surgeries are a success, but they can lead to life threatening health problems. my puppet, Jackie, is the bad outcome of that pressuring beauty. she’s plastic and almost inhuman with exaggerated features showing ‘plastic surgery went wrong’. her face expressions are not clear and her movement aren’t controllable and has a really unrealistic body. with her hair looking so unnatural and her clothes falling apart, she doesn’t care about her clothes and hair but only about her body and doesn’t want to draw the attention on anything else but that. she got sparkly things sewed on to her and long nails with exaggerated jewels, and she got money sewed on to her as well to emphasize that she wasted her money on plastic surgery. in the performance, she’s is caressing her self and her face and expressing how pretty she is.
the process of making this puppet had it’s ups in lows but it was fun and exciting throughout, that with every progress i feel motivated to keep working on it. i came up with the first sketch before fully understanding the assignment yet but when i imagined my research being alive, that image appeared in my head to i started sketching it and i decided to stick to that sketch and start working on a puppet from it. i first thought of a pillow but then i wanted to prototype to be exciting so i decided to do a puppet, and that escalated to a full performance after i got some my first feedback on the idea. i started with the face stuffing it with pom poms, paper shreds, glittery bits, and printed money. i sewed the features on a piece of cardboard to make the lumps and curved of the cheeks. then i painted the mesh on her face with white but it’s still transparent. the structure was built on the a small traffic cone. because i wanted a hollowed structure so it would be light for me to carry and commute with. i built a structure on top of that using wire mesh and wooden sticks for support. then covered it with paper to make it look softer and the sewed mesh on top of it. i made the head with a foam ball and stuffed it using the mix i made. attached it to the body and i made the arms but stuffed it with cotton instead. the hands’ structure was made with wax sticks to be light and flexible and then stuffed it with my mix. glued plastic nails on top of each other to make it longer, i painted them, and glued big gems on them. glued the arms on the body. i used furry fabric as her hair. the rods where glued to hand cuffs and then to her wrists to show that she’s a prisoner to societies expectations.
the video of performance: