One Aboriginal Australian Woman Artist's Interpretations of Womanhood in Contemporary Australian Society

Fredericks, Bronwyn (2006) One Aboriginal Australian Woman Artist's Interpretations of Womanhood in Contemporary Australian Society. Irish Feminist Review, 2, pp. 91-97.


In what is termed modern Australia, the concept of beauty has always been tied to whiteness and been expanded upon over the years. The beauty ideal in contemporary Australian society is uniformly white and smooth-skinned, thin, young or young looking, energetic, fit, healthy, sexualised, and 'glamorous'. At times it is also tanned (via or lotions, mousses, tanning booths and the sun), but not 'black' Aboriginal Australian. Most recently, it has also come to include having a mouthful of big white teeth as a result of bleaching or chemical whitening treatments or caps. This beauty ideal is adopted and promoted, sometimes unwittingly and sometimes with cleaver subtlety. There are few Australian women who could meet this 'standard'. Pamela croft in her arts imagery brings these issues to the forefront. She exposes through her arts practice how the populous beauty ideal in the contemporary Australian context is tied to the exterior of the body showing that decisions are made on looking at women whether the image they present is healthy, well, young and fit, sexy, 'glamorous', smooth-skinned and white. Croft's artwork, Once We Mount the Armour: 4, and the narratives contained within it, focused as it is on women, the female form, gender, whiteness, colonisation and more, poses questions to us around how we see ourselves and other women. Croft puts forward some strategies such as self-talk, protecting ourselves and maintaining the strength to be who we really are on the inside and on the outside.

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ID Code: 13460
Item Type: Journal Article
Refereed: Yes
Additional URLs:
Keywords: Aboriginal, Indigenous, Women, Australia, Feminism, Beauty, White Privilege, Capitalism, Identity, Pamela Croft, art, visual, practice
ISSN: 1649-6825
Subjects: Australian and New Zealand Standard Research Classification > STUDIES IN CREATIVE ARTS AND WRITING (190000)
Divisions: Current > QUT Faculties and Divisions > Faculty of Education
Copyright Owner: Copyright 2006 Bronwyn Fredericks
Deposited On: 06 May 2008 00:00
Last Modified: 09 Jun 2010 12:58

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