Core77 Design Awards
- Other Years
How to normalise and embrace women's bodies?
Muse is a project about bodies and women.
Growing up as a woman in a Male-centered society can be a struggle. Girls are often isolated when it comes to body exploration and sexual education.
Muse is a kit containing educational objects and cards that aim to address those 'taboo' topics to support young girls to gradually become informed and empowered women. The cards provide a narrative that embodies the journey through puberty to their adult life.
In our society, which is shying away from SEX ED, topics such as body and sexuality are surrounded by shame. They are not often addressed within the family, not completely at school, and at a young age, girls are not talking about it. The embarrassment of the parents often leads to avoiding the topics. However it has been proved that not talking about it increases the risk of early unwanted pregnancy and diseases. It is important that girls are aware of their bodies and learn the needed and appropriate terms in order to protect them. We must empower girls to embrace their body and sexuality without shame.
The kit contains several elements such as : a card holder mirror, a question box that supports the family to build a caring environment to open those conversations, a 1.1 female reproductive system puzzle, and four chapters of educational cards alongside some small learning tools.
The layered box contains four chapters of cards to help girls and women navigate through the life of their bodies.
'My New Body' tackles topics such as first periods, puberty and intends to give an understanding of the beautiful variety of bodies existing in the world.
'My Happy Body' is about desire, pleasure and consent. It also talks about genders and the importance of feeling home in their own body. It was important to put 'My Happy Body' before 'My Healthy Body', knowing that most of the time, if the family is giving a 'sexual education' to their daughters, they often only point out risks and not aspects such as pleasure.
'My Healthy Body' focuses on the different contraceptive methods, talks about sexual diseases and aims to establish new rituals of self check-in.
'My Changing Body' is meant to follow women through the rest of the life of their evolving bodies and involves topics such as 'pregnancy or not pregnancy?', postpartum, menopause, and so on.
How can we have ownership of our bodies? For example, going to the gynecologist is often experienced as a moment of shame while they allow a stranger to look at our intimate parts. How can women start embracing this part of their bodies?
The first object of the kit is a mirror, as a universal object aiming to normalise bodies and open up conversations. This mirror would follow women and help them navigate through different layers of life. The action of a parent giving their young daughter(s) a box containing a mirror, and encouraging them to look at themselves could have a huge impact.
We have to encourage girls to face their bodies, to stop the silence and the shame surrounding it, in order to shape a new generation that feels differently, thinks differently and has a different relationship to their bodies and their sexuality. The mirror aims to initiate new rituals and teach women a new way of looking at their bodies.
The kit box contains an opening that allows the child to drop a question. The parent(s) will then have some time to analyse it and answer properly later if they feel not ready or inconfortable about answering immediately. This 'Question Box' aims to engage caring conversions between parents and children, knowing that sexual education is still a taboo in families.
The project was born from conversations with women and a reflection regarding the way they are raised in our society. A lot of women are not informed enough about their own bodies. Knowing the female reproductive system is crucial. Having an understanding of it allows us to emphasize the internal life of the female body – periods, pregnancy, and the hormone cycle. This is such an amazing system. It is where life starts. We should celebrate it!
This project was developed through interviews with women from different ages, cultures and nationalities reflecting on their sexual education and the way it affected their lives.
Muse is now starting its journey to move forward in order to be integrated in the health or the educational systems.