Jessica Fleetwood is a feminist-blacksmith based in Sweden but of Russian origin. Her artistic works are in the form of sculptures. Her pivotal works are forms of women’s brassiere: with these bras she attracts the attention of the world about the sexualisation of human body, particularly women’s breasts, and how women are subjected to harassment and groping.
Her artistic effort also springs from her academic grounding: her Master’s thesis’ title was ‘Female Breasts: Abuse, Groping, and Sexually and Violently Treated?’ supervised by Ann-Charlotte Glasberg-Blomqvist and examined by Heiner Zimmerman and opponent was Linda Tedsdotter at the Applied Arts and Design with Specialization in Metal Art at HDK – Academy of Design and Crafts, Steneby, University of Gothenburg.
‘In the western world the women’s breasts are sexualised’ is her statement, and what concerns her is the way the advertisements and market forces are influencing women to have the perfect shape and size of breasts on their chest. In an interview to Monsoon2047, she said, it is possible for a human being to have perfect or desirable body.
‘People are still harassing women and girls and sexual harassment is not okay, my question is – do women and girls need to have metal armour on their body to protect them from … you know people taking on your body,’ she expressed. Sexual harassment in Sweden and in western countries? ‘Everywhere. Maybe it is more in other countries but here it is more psychological also. They say comments about your body … if you have big breasts or if you do not have big breasts they think they can comment on that and they think that it is okay. I don’t think it is okay.’
REALITY OF SOCIETY: It is a fact that many girls are conscious of their breasts (size and shape) and they are opting for silicon breasts, what do you have to say about that? ‘It is a hysterical, it is a hysterical thing with the body. And it is also with lips, they do refillers??? It is crazy. It has also been in the history – the corsets … they have always been modifying female body. It has always been issues about the female body.’
JESSICA’S ADVICE to girls and women: ‘I think they should be themselves. Don’t look so much and compare yourself on those social media (posts). It is stupid. The photos on social media are not real, photoshopped. You should think with your heart, and with your soul and go and study. Do the things that you like, don’t look at others and compare yourself with others. Don’t do that.’
Listen to the podcast: Jessica Fleetwood