Social and Performance

Project Not My Boyfriend

The current social performance piece entitled “Project Not My Boyfriend” deals with the ideas of gender roles within relationships of women, the effects of social media on relationships and personal standards of emotional connection and relationship success.

“I had a relationship in which my partner did not like taking or posting pictures with me or of me. Although I would like to believe that I do not need the validation of social media to feel desired or content, this affected how I understood my role in my personal relationship and how wanted and secure I felt about myself physically and mentally. Am I not good enough to selfie with?”

This project includes an instagram account where images are posted of myself and men I regularly hang out with, date casually, am acquainted with or simply meet and find attractive. The project’s desire is to poke fun at the current culture of dating while also calling out how silly the use of the term “boyfriend” can be. It is my hope that this will help me further understand how images can influence my own insecurity as well as alter the perceptions of others about me.

Another aspect of this experiment is the assumptions made when men and women are seen together. Often times if a woman is seen posting images with a man online, a romantic or sexual relationship is assumed. This is a somewhat sexist phenomenon that perpetuates the idea that cisgender monogamous relationships are the only acceptable form of relationships. Although I am specifically sharing my experiences as a straight woman, all humans are encouraged to post selfies with friends, significant others or acquaintances with the hashtag #notmyboyfriend