On Wednesday, February 8th, Substantia Jones presented “The Adipositivity Project: Subverting the Tools of the Angst Industrial Complex.” During her presentation, Substantia talked about the multi-billion-dollar beauty industry and the messages it promotes about “acceptable” and “unacceptable” bodies. She shared her story, which led to her realization that with her camera she could resist such fat-phobia. Through the Adipositivity Project, Substantia seeks to counter these messages by presenting a series of photographs that celebrate fat bodies.
The audience included students from a photography class, a dance class, and a women’s health class, and Substantia’s presentation addressed questions unique to each of these areas. She offered students practical advice for using their art for activism and also spoke eloquently about how the discourse of “health” intersects with fat activism. Overall, she urged students to be active consumers of media and to challenge messages that demean and dehumanize those who may not conform to normative standards of beauty.
Prof. Millie Falcaro, who brought her photography students to the presentation, had high praise for Substantia’s work. She especially appreciated Substantia’s message to students about continuing their studies, developing their technical skills, and viewing assignments as opportunities to step outside of their comfort zones and take on new creative challenges.
For more information about the Conversations on Diversity & Social Justice Series, you can contact Interim Associate Dean for Academic Affairs, Peter Naccarato at firstname.lastname@example.org.