Ovid’s myth of Pygmalion
- constructions of the feminine ideal, themes of gender construction and embodiment
- realised that he’s alone, wants to carve a statue that represents his interpretation of an idea woman but ironically isn’t an actual woman. what are the characteristics of a woman? – its all social constructs.
- carved his idea woman to be his wife out of ‘snow white ivory’ – purity, innocence, expensive, rare, precious. It has a flesh like tone – pale.
- He dresses it, kisses and touches it, buys it gifts and then undresses it again before laying her down. The notion of a strip tease and believing that she is his. Making her more believable and giving a sexual desire.
- he designs her, choses what to include and what not to include
- he gives her feminine gifts like jewellery and flowers. Gender is a social construct, it’s is made up and nobody suggested it.
- she is only ‘naked’ and sexually desirable after he has undressed her. where as she was naked before.
- creative construction of a woman into an object to be looked at
- As a statue it can not speak, it has a silent status and is non-threatening
- He is ‘repulsed’ by the prostitutes using their bodies for sex, yet creates this ‘woman’ and has no problem with using her where as she doesn’t have a voice
- ‘real’ women in the flesh and blood discuss Pygmalion as they are not perfect, unblemished and beyond his control
- Textures of shiny, smooth surfaces, accompany connotations of ‘real’ and ‘natural’ – the unattainable perfection.
- femininity is described as a site of male desire