‘Dumb Bitches Never Die.’
‘Dumb Bitches Never Die’ is a visual exploration of the misogynistic representation of women in the horror genre. The ways in which femininity is presented to horror film audiences has proceeded to be concerning from the early beginning of the horror genre. Women have played the submissive damsels, the femme fatales and the final girls in a genre where femininity and sexual desire is met with punishment. The women who express sexual desire are often met with a violent and prolonged death; the scenes of their death feature the character wearing very little clothing arguably created for the pleasure of a male spectator. The horror genre provides a problematic and repetitive representation of women, which audiences have began to accept and expect. The process of creating this image series has been primarily concerned with altering the perceptions of femininity and its association with weakness. This is something that is currently being discussed in pop culture.
Horror is being reshaped to appeal to larger audiences; an element of comedy is added so viewers unfamiliar with the genre can view a light-hearted alteration of a horror film. This is seen in ‘Cabin in the Woods’ (2013), Scream Queens (2015) and The Final Girl (2015). These films and TV shows mock the unrealistic representation of women and the horror genres predictability. These recent criticisms of the horror genre reinforce the notion that my images will be relevant in pop culture as well as with horror film fans. ‘Dumb Bitches Never Die’ adds to the discussion of the horror genres offensive portrayal of women.Each individual image contains visual elements inspired by the films that have aided my research. Every element of the project is catered to an audience with knowledge of the horror genre. As Carrie (1976) is the most iconic and recognisable prom-horror, the imagery used contains subtle references to the film.
The process of creating my images has been challenging as I have been introduced to unfamiliar photographic equipment such as a remote shutter. As the body of work focuses on self-portraiture I took on many roles when creating my images. For this body of work I acted as stylist, make up artist and photographer and set designer which tested my abilities and expanded my capabilities.
The objective of my image series is to present a typical prom-horror storyline to viewers. The images will be presented in chronological order so viewers can follow the story presented from beginning to end. The first image in the series features a starry-eyed prom queen, holding lettering to introduce the story. My aim during the creation of the images was to challenge the representation of femininity, which in the horror genre is associated with weakness. To do this I presented the most feminine stock character as the heroine. The final image features the dumb blonde, dishevelled and holding the head of the villain whom she has stabbed with her shoe. The decision not to feature a weapon was intentional it presents the dumb blonde as resourceful. It also challenges the representation of her character that is typically seen running and stumbling away from the antagonist in high heels that often lead to her demise.