The fine lines between matronly and whore: our interview with Rosea Lake, the Vancouver artist behind viral picture “Judgments.”

We posted an image a few days ago on our Facebook page by a young Vancouver-based artist, Rosea Lake that has received a lot of attention. It has been liked over 120 times and shared over 140 times on our page alone, and this is just the tip of the iceberg, as this image has gone viral on Reddit and other websites.

“Judgments,” by Rosea Lake is at the very least a conversation starter, getting emotional responses from many due to its candid picture of what women are faced with.

Inspired by what she refers to as “fearless change-makers,” like Stefan Sagmeister, and Vivian Maier, lake is fond of those who can push the envelope while capturing the everyday.

Here is our interview with Rosea Lake...

 

am: Firstly, is that your leg in the photo?

Rosea: No, those aren't my legs. Those are the legs of a high school friend of mine, Ali MacKenzie.

 

Am: Have you personally felt judged with these terms?

Rosea: Of course I feel judged – I am a woman. Every time I leave the house in a short skirt or a low-cut top, I worry about how I'll be perceived by the public and if I'll be targeted for verbal or sexual harassment. 

 

Am: What line do you generally fall into? 

rosea: I try not to let those preconceptions effect me – but I usually wear pants anyway.

 

Am: How do you feel about people wanting to use this photo as a symbol for their causes?

rosea: I think it's fantastic. Of course, as a young and hopeful designer, I'd request credit – but for me, the best part of this experience has been the fact that my message has affected hundreds of thousands of people, that my image has sparked controversy, discussion and hopefully, change.

 

Am: Have you been surprised by the reaction from the public?

rosea: Definitely. I remember Monday morning, the day the image went viral, I was excited because it had 36 notes on Tumblr. I absolutely flipped when it shot up to 4,000, then 20,000, and then over 100,000 by the end of the day.

The overwhelming majority of feedback has been positive. The reddit page (http://www.reddit.com/r/pics/comments/1660ge/asking_for_it/) is pretty shocking. There are some pretty ridiculous, rude and mostly untrue things said about it, although I find them incredibly interesting. I love seeing unfiltered reactions to my art – it gives me really good insight, even though a lot of the posts are written by people who are evidently unaware of my intended message.

 

am: What is the one message you would want your audience to take away from this work? 

rosea: That women are still caught between a rock and hard place. Many of my peers have the opinion that we as a society have already achieved all the feminist goals that we need to. That is certainly not the case – with female public figures being judged on their appearance first and their ideas second, the overwhelming majority of powerful positions in government and media being held by men, and all the controversy over abortion and birth control... We're definitely not done.

 

am: what do you think the response would have been if you were a man?

rosea: Most people who see my photograph don't know if I'm a man or a woman, but I think it would risk being misinterpreted a lot more than it already has been if that were the case. 

 

Am: Are people able to get prints from you of the image?

rosea: There have been lots of requests for prints. I'm currently working on how to do that – I'll definitely let everyone know on my Tumblr and Twitter (@roseaposey) when they become available.

 

image from the angry housewife series by Rosea lake

To see more of Rosea’s work check out her twitter, Tumblr and Flickr accounts.

roseaposey.tumblr.com

www.flickr.com/photos/roseaposey

@roseaposey

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