Prudish. Flirty. Whore. Proper. Cheeky. Slut. These are just a few of the words that could be used to describe a woman's sexual behavior based on her appearance alone, and 18-year-old college freshman Rosea Lake chose to display them starkly -- on a young woman's legs in a photo that has since gone viral. (Scroll down to see the image.)
Lake, who studies graphic design and illustration at Capilano University in Vancouver, never thought she'd become an Internet sensation when she posted her "Judgments" photo project to her Tumblr on January 5th. But something about the picture struck a chord with those who saw it, and within 24 hours the image had been re-blogged 100,000 times.
The photo, which the student took as part of an AP high school art class last year, depicts the back of her friend Ali MacKenzie's legs, Lake told The Huffington Post. Horizontal lines are drawn up her leg, reflecting various skirt lengths, and next to each line is a description. Lake labelled the longest skirt length "matronly" and the shortest "whore."
Lake got the idea for the photo from looking at graduated cylinders in her science class, she told The Huffington Post. "[I wanted to] take the idea of impersonal, supposedly objective, measurement of things and put it on something that we do measure, but we don't talk about," she said. "We measure women the same way we measure water in cylinders, but no one says it because it's mean."
Lake also expressed that working on the photo project forced her to reassess her own judgments about other women. "I used to assume that all women who wore Hijabs were being oppressed ... and look down on and judge any woman who didn’t express her sexuality in a way that I found appropriate," she wrote on her Tumblr. "I’d like to think I’m more open now."
When asked why she thought the photo resonated so deeply with so many women, Lake chalked its momentum up to timing. "It's a concise, visually-attractive articulation of what a lot of women are thinking lately," she said. "Our society is ready to talk about [slut-shaming]. This just sort of gave it a push."
LOOK: Rosea Lake's "Judgments"
[H/T The Star]