Final Project— Body Politics
For my final, I’m going to work with Sid. After the discussion, we decide to do the critical object of cyborgs at first, but we changed the topic to the issue of the standard of beauty toward Asian female shaving underarm hair.
As an Asian female, most of us had the experience of removing body hair, especially the armpit hair. Because of the traditional mindset and conservative view of Asian people, nowadays, Asian females still make themselves fit the standard of beauty and afraid of being “natural”. It’s a pain and hard process of removing armpit hair because the hair will grow again unless you do the laser to remove it, which is expensive and really hurt. Even though man also has armpit hair, they don’t have to suffer criticism from society. Our idea is to reveal the fact that most of the Asian female experiences in their life.
Topic: Standard of beauty toward Asian female shaving armpit hair
Limitation: Repeatable, Moving parts
Framework: Triangle framework(critical, design, technical)
Inspiration & Design
The growth speed of body hair is 0.3cm per day, so usually, women need to remove their underarm hair every three days. We want to reveal this short cycle of hair removal.
Then, we’re inspired by the pasta maker machine, which can represent the hair growing and removing process.
Also, we want to use the Neo pixel to light up the yellow and blue lights to represent the daytime and nighttime. After three cycles, which means the time for removing underarm hair, the speaker will start playing people’s voices that speaking negative words, like ugly, unattractive, etc. It will continue playing until people use the razor to clean the clay, just like we remove the armpit hair, then it will start to speak kind words like beautiful, clean, etc. It will keep repeating the same process which most of the Asian female had experienced the underarm hair removal in their life.
We received some feedback in the class, all of them feel the object is too directly and just recreated the experience that might lose the conversation. We felt that the woman shape is the main reason and decided to remove it and the neo pixel to keep it simple and more abstract, therefore people can pay attention to the main part. We still keep the pasta maker machine part, the interaction, and the audio feedback. Instead of playing people’s voices, we think it’s better to play a melody and noise sound to represent the different reactions that we’ll get from society. Also, by using a white acrylic cube, we want to convey the juxtaposition between the part with hair and the part without hair. Since most of the Asian female is afraid of being “natural”, using the clean and smooth acrylic is the way to represent the goal that they are trying to achieve.
My role in this project is the audio part. I used the raspberry pi 4 to play the audio file. Because we want music playing continually without any interruption, so I used the music and sound stuff in pygame library. It can allow the music to play in the background and bring the other sound to mix it and fade it out. Because of the remote cooperation, I also connected the Arduino to simulate the part of the pasta maker machine that Sid was responsible for. If you pressed the button, which means the user shaves the hair, the noise sound will fade out.