Date of Award

Spring 5-30-2017

Document Type


Degree Name

Master of Arts (MA)



First Advisor

Paul Sproll

Second Advisor

Nancy Friese

Third Advisor

Namita Dharia


A woman who is visibly hairy might be viewed as masculine, dirty, unprofessional, or as a radical feminist. There are variations on what it means to be a woman; feminine does not have to be synonymous with “hairless”. Body hair is a stigma because it is a physical characteristic that is undesirable and shamed when exposed.

Body hair as stigma can be explored in terms of creativity and pedagogy. How can creativity work to dismantle stigma? Talking about stigma gives one the chance to express themselves in a way that is exploratory, sparking new ways of understanding. Arts education already possesses qualities that are beneficial to stigma—how can educators and students take advantage of all that creativity has to offer? Creating artwork about women and body hair and analyzing existing works can deepen one’s knowledge of body hair; as a societal form of control and as a lens to look more closely at stigma in arts education. Creativity can be the outlet to find new ways to accept and appreciate the hair on women’s bodies. Creativity can be a valuable tool to address topics that are controversial or simply overlooked. Let’s get hairy.

Included in

Art Education Commons



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