Graduation Year

Spring 2013

Document Type

Open Access Senior Thesis

Degree Name

Bachelor of Arts


Media Studies

Reader 1

T. Kim-Trang Tran

Reader 2

Ken Gonzales-Day

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Rights Information

© 2012 Susan C. Bryant


My senior thesis deals with contemporary depictions of sexualized violence against women in fashion photography. Images of bloodied, bruised, and dead-looking models have proliferated in fashion magazine editorials and advertisements since the 1970s and I want to explore why sexualized violence is seen as sexy and compelling advertising, in light of the fact that domestic violence is the greatest cause of injury to women in America. I produced my own fashion photographs in locations of actual female homicides in Los Angeles County, particularly those nearest to Claremont, with the use of The Los Angeles Times online homicide database, which pinpoints every homicide reported in L.A. County since 2007. We live in a world plagued by violence and by creating my own violent, fashion photographs in actual homicide locations, I hoped to jar the viewer out of neutrality and expose violent advertisements and editorials for what they are: objectifying, exploitative, and perverse expressions of hostility against women. The images abuse and demean commercial speech privileges and glamorize and trivialize horrific, actual experiences of violence suffered by countless women.