Various cultures have different definitions of beauty. However, due to mass media having an outsized role in conveying cultural norms about what is deemed beautiful, the distinct representation of beauty in many cultures may have been muddled. Cultures frequently exposed to Western media may have a particular perspective on female beauty, recognising that beautiful women should be white and slim.
Fortunately, in comparison to the 1990s, media portrayals of women are becoming more inclusive, integrating women of diverse ages, sizes, and ethnicities. However, some women may feel obliged to adhere to the westernised “ideal” beauty. As a result, their body images and self-esteem can deteriorate if they do not meet the standard, prompting them to doubt their value and negatively impacting their physical and mental health.
This research aims to challenge the way media represents women while also celebrating a much more inclusive representation of women in media presently. In this project, photographs are avoided to prevent inescapable social comparisons with other women in the media, and a typographic approach is selected instead.
Voices, a typeface inspired by the ‘voices’ of five women I interviewed and incorporated throughout the research project, was produced. The typeface was created using the drawings provided by the participants, emphasising their voices. The typeface aims to celebrate women in all forms and shapes beyond what is depicted in the media and challenge gender bias in typefaces. The typeface comes in three styles: whisper, talk, and shout.