Am I Clean Now?

Textile Design

"Am I clean now?" was inspired by the scary history of feminine hygiene products and how that reflects the way society has always seen women and their bodies.

It is fascinating to me how healthy body functions such as menstruation or normal vagina odor have historically been seen as repelling and as problems that need solutions, whether that was banishing women away from their villages in some isolation area until their menstruation circle would be completed, or whether that was selling vagina douching devices or products containing actual bleach or cresol aiming to “make your vagina smell less”.

One would hope that such events / products would be a thing of the past, but unfortunately that’s far from true. Women in general are seen and treated as dirty by society to this very day. 

Are womxn’s bodies and minds ever clean enough for this world? I am exploring this question by illustrating cleaning products’ packaging on a soft surface, turning them into a quilt, which is associated with feelings of comfort and coziness, creating a contrast between my choice of material and the traditional plastic, uninviting materials picked for such products. As a (feminist) woman I want to be open about my experience in this world, and I want to make other women feel less alone and isolated, offering them “a blanket of comfort”. I am using the blanket as a metaphor and as a reference to something that brings comfort, but at the same time depicting on it the thing that creates the discomfort to begin with. By creating this paradox, I am hoping to spark discussion between womxn about our experiences & create a feeling of community, like the practice of quilting has already been doing for centuries.
 

The project was chosen to be part of Dutch Design Week 2020.

© 2020 by Athena Gronti