Women in Media

Image by Catherine Powell

Artist Statement: In the last decade, social media has become an extension of human life. Facebook is the new newspaper, Twitter is a collection of one-liners and complaints, and Instagram is a greatest hits compilation. The video platforms take on an entirely new life: YouTube functions like television, Vine is a comedy gold mine and Snapchat serves as the every day person's own reality show. With these readily available extensions to their brand, traditional media stars - like actors and musicians - are able to capitalize on their fame in a new way. In more recent years, these social platforms - most notably YouTube, Vine and Instagram - have produced their own collection of elite personas, and completely reinvented what it means to be famous. With the celebrity-status now pinned to subsequently ordinary people, those operating in traditional media need to appear more relatable than ever and flood their feeds with candid photos and selfies. On the contrast, the new media stars are glamming themselves up to keep up with their new peers. The middle ground between these two groups is still rather uncharted territory, and the longevity of these new media stars is yet to be determined.

But what does this mean for young women operating in the public eye - whether it'd be through paparazzi lenses or web cams? It sets a new standard for their public image. Social media means someone - even if it's just themselves - is always watching, which makes both perfection and authenticity become necessities to success.

"My photo essay, Women In Media, contrasts the candid moments of the professional lives of seven young women operating in both traditional and new media."

The photos focus on the hyper awareness each of these women have for their physical appearance, the perks of their professions, their relationships to their supporters and the rare, quiet moments that have become few and far between. There is a clear difference in how each of these women subscribe to social media's new standards - both based on age and profession.

To see the rest of Catherine's work, please head to her website.

Photography: Catherine Powell


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