Fight the System: Love yourself!
Stand up to a world that profits from your insecurities
The project is about the impact of unrealistic beauty ideals promoted by advertising on teenager’s sense of identity and self-esteem. The argument for my master thesis is that advertising needs to evolve, not only on a moral level but to be in harmony with its time and the new wave of conscious consumers that has arisen. It needs to adapt to a new generation that cares more than ever about making positive change in the world. To support this idea, I worked with high school students and held workshops centred around the practice of culture jamming, the act of “hacking” mainstream media to twist its message. Being able to fix ads they found problematic gave them agency, as well as a chance to take control over the type of media they would like to see in the world.
In parallel, I created an awareness campaign, using Barbie dolls to point out the absurdity of our current advertising system, which I then put up in the streets of Gothenburg on a weekly basis. I also posted the campaign on an Instagram account called “gen.erate__”, where I used each poster to talk about a specific harmful advertising trope, in the form of one-minute long videos. The idea for the account was to be an online space dedicated to co-design and lifting the voices of the young. To achieve this, I divided and posted the results from the workshops, using them as preludes and inspiration to my own creations. I also invited others to take part in the project, linking a toolbox to the account, offering culture jamming as a tool for empowerment, a way for teenagers to take culture back into their own hands and have a say in “the adult world”, that too often dismisses them.