Reflexo: the sting (print) [exhibit]

Research output: Non-textual formExhibition

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Exhibition at Echo's Studio, São Paulo, Brazil. 15 October - 5 November 2022.

"Artists mirror the period of time and culture they live in. The unique and passionate ways they see and experience the world has the potential to inspire, spark change, break boundaries and reflect back to society."
Original languageEnglish
Publication statusAccepted/In press - 15 Oct 2022

Bibliographical note

the sting [object illustration] [print] (2022)

feeling a little ashamed
and so dreadfully big;
a little frightened.

tears slowly trickled down her aged

a little girl's eyes saw,
the dear child is fast

the sting (2022) is an object illustration from my autoethnographic illustration research practice exploring my own experience of poor body image as a way to critique western cultural discourse on women's bodies (Ellis, et al., 2011). It is based on the understanding of what it means when a child's body begins to change to a woman's; the shame I felt when adults made comments, and the fear of knowing that I had no control over the changes and the attention it brings. This understanding is brought about through absorbing conversations around women's bodies within the home and wider cultural discourse and visual representations of women in society (Fredrickson and Roberts, 1997; Hall, 1997; Keery et al., 2004; Kluck, 2009).

the sting [print] (2020) aligns with the intention of the exhibition by reflecting this lived experience back to society to generate critical dialogue. While this work argues for the value of artwork to be placed on the conversations it brings about, this work will be for sale. If sold, the payment will be split between Endangered Bodies Brazil and First Steps ED Charity (UK). Both organisations acknowledge the racism at the core of fat phobia (Strings, 2019).


Ellis, C. et al. (2011) Autoethnography: an overview. Historical Social Research, 36 (4), 273-290.

Fredrickson, L, B. and Roberts, T. (1997) Objectification Theory: towards understanding women’s lived experiences and mental health risks. Psychology of Women Quarterly, 21, 173-206.

Hall, S. ed. (1997) Representation: cultural representations and signifying practices. London: Sage Publications.

Keery, H., van den Berg, P. and Thompson, K, J. (2004) An evaluation of the Tripartite Influence Model of body dissatisfaction and eating disturbance with adolescent girls. Body Image, 1, 237-251.

Kluck, S, A. (2010) Family influence on disordered eating: the role of body image dissatisfaction. Body Image, 7, 8-14.

Strings, S. (2019) Fearing the black body: the racial origins of fat phobia. New York: New York University Press.


  • illustration research
  • illustration and clay
  • object illustration
  • Print
  • women's body image
  • girl's body image
  • Cultural discourse
  • Critical dialogue
  • Reflective Practice
  • autoethnographic illustration
  • Autoethnography
  • Narrative
  • illustration


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