The rise of social media empowers people with a platform for their own voices as well as access to endless information. Just as it expands the range of what we can see, it also expands the range of what we can compare ourselves to. The project aims to mirror the anxiety caused by the looking glass of modern life—screens. Extra, unnecessary needs and values are constantly marketed to people by all kinds of platforms. It is common for people to feel anxious about their appearance, and make the “reflections” of the screen a part of themselves in real life. Maybe paying less attention to the looking glass would make us concentrate more on what a better self really means.
The Chinese word “Ci Jing(雌竞)” has been coined recently to describe competition amongst females, especially meaningless competitive behaviour in a patriarchal context, and mostly focuses on physical appearance. Despite the fact that competitions exist in all genders and not all of them are aimed at getting attention from the others, the word “Ci Jing(雌竞)” captures the anxiety of wanting to be better without knowing what is better for you. The guidelines for building identities under the media gaze are complicated. The standards of having an ideal persona are fluid and are influenced by the directions that the crowd is attracted to.
Beyond the Looking Glass, The idea for this project came from Charles Cooley’s theory Looking-glass self, and it describes the process of how individuals base their sense of self on how they believe others view them.