For decades, print and broadcast media have portrayed unattainable, idealized images of the body. Most times we would encounter these depictions of “perfection” while watching our favorite sitcoms or walking past the magazine stand. In those moments, when we were led to believe that we should strive for the perfect body, we always had time to stop and process the idyllic imagery before moving on with our own realities.
In recent years, however, the Internet has become the dominant form of media consumption and, at times, it leaves us mistaking fiction for fact. With live feeds, instant updates, and seemingly infinite scrolling, digital media has the ability to expose us to those same unrealistic images at broadband speeds. This immediacy truncates the time to consciously decipher the validity of what we are being shown. The Internet's instant gratification has affected us on a deeper level than just the visual. Unlike commercial media, online content is primarily moderated and distributed by the individual user, which more insidiously and more effectively convinces the viewer that the unattainable is not only desirable, but is actually attainable. Because of this increasing access and active participation in the glorification of unrealistic standards, we have become a culture obsessed with appearance. Negative body image is rampant, and mental and health issues, such as eating disorders, are on the rise.
The video and stills that comprise Tag are in dialogue with this influence of Internet mass media on the individual. Various representations of the female form were pulled from the Tumblr microblogging platform using simple keywords such as #beautiful, #sexy, and #perfect. Assembled in a slideshow, the images are selected at random and transition rapidly at a rate of 5 seconds; mimicking the thread refresh time. Projected onto my body, I frantically attempt to align myself with the idealized forms, in a futile effort.