Note: The images in this post contain content that may be considered NSFW (nudity and language).
Talk about body language! Inauguration Day is almost here, which means Donald Trump is about to make the transition from president-elect to president. But even as he ascends to the highest political office in America, one college student isn’t cutting him any slack for the sexist statements he’s made about women. After Trump’s November 9 victory, first-year community college student Aria Watson decided to channel the heartbreak she felt into her final assignment for photography class.
In seven images collectively titled “#SignedByTrump,” Watson and four friends pose nude or minimally attired with the real estate mogul turned politician’s infamous comments painted on their skin. Adding to the visual impact is the strategic placement of each phrase: “Must be a pretty picture, you dropping to your knees” — a less-than-subtle reference to oral sex Trump made toward Brande Roderick on The Celebrity Apprentice — is depicted on the back of a woman kneeling on the ground, while his body-shaming remark about ranking flat-chested women appears scrawled across a woman’s bare breasts.
“I would have loved to have some more women of color,” she told the Huffington Post, recognizing the diverse population that Trump’s rhetoric targeted. “But I live in such a small town and attend such a small college, where the majority of people are white.” Though she was previously disinterested in politics and too young to vote, including during this most recent election, the 18-year-old began paying close attention to the candidates during the campaign season. “I’m scared that the way he speaks about women — this sexism and misogyny — will end up becoming a social norm,” the self-proclaimed feminist told HuffPost.
She initially started sharing her stances on social media, but harsh criticisms from friends and family made her realize “posting a Facebook status isn’t going to do anything; it’s not going to change anyone’s mind,” she says in her YouTube video about the project. She also realized she could utilize her class project to amplify her message, though she didn’t quite expect the viral response and support she’s received since sharing her work on Tumblr. (At the moment, it’s been shared more than 190,000 times on the site.)
The images have also moved offline in the form of merchandise: Watson partnered with feminist e-tailer the Outrage to turn the photos into sweatshirts, a tank top and a postcard set, with 15 percent of profits from each item sold going toward the ACLU — in Trump’s name, naturally.
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