Zhang Chao
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Chao Zhang
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July 13, 2021
Art
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The Gentle Nudity In Chao Zhang’s Photography

What is the female gaze?⁠

It is a response to feminist film theorist Laura Mulvey's term "the male gaze", which she defines as “a gaze [that] projects its fantasy onto the female figure… with [her] appearance coded for strong visual and erotic impact.” The male gaze, found especially in classic Hollywood movies objectifies and sexualises women on screen to please the male spectator. 

Can you see the female gaze in this photo by Zhang Chao? It differs from the traditional male gaze because, as Tori Telfer put it: “it’s emotional and intimate. It sees people as people. It seeks to empathize rather than to objectify.” And, if we think outside the binary, we can find even more (gender neutral) ways to frame bodies in front of the camera. ⁠

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