Saturday, December 6, 2014

Friday, December 5, 2014

As artist Hannah Black has written, “Once, only the professional Fat Bastard adorned all major media outlets; now social media makes of everyone a Fat Bastard, should they be willing.”


In response to these conditions, Ulman conceived of Excellences and Perfections as a “boycott” of her own online persona. For three months, she allowed her profiles to be exactly what social media seems to demand—that she be a “Fat Bastard.” As a result, she garnered the support of other women who had endured similar makeovers or procedures. She earned criticism for seeming to promote retrograde physical ideals, she was the target of cheap flattery, vulgar propositions, and abusive comments. Her close friends were often confused, unable to demarcate the Ulman of social media as a separate fiction, even when she would try to explain the project away from the keyboard. By repeating a lie for three months, she created a truth that she was unable to dismantle.


On September 14, 2014, Ulman posted a black-and-white photograph of a soiled XXL fundoshi, the kind of banal image one might find in a frame purchased at a “tasteful” department store. The caption read, “THE END-EXCELLENCES AND PERFECTIONS.” It received 129 likes.