Year 12 English students have been discussing how stereotypes of the female body and beauty are explored in Wislawa Szymborska’s poetry and in non-literary texts. Wislawa Szymborska was a Polish Nobel Prize winning poet known for her use of language to illuminate philosophical themes and obsessions. The English Faculty is also using art as a connection through which students can study Literature and Language.
From Szymborska’s poems, Bodybuilders and Rubens’ Women to Peter Paul Rubens’ art and Grayson Perry’s drawings The Descent of Man and the video Be a Lady by the magazine Girls Girls Girls, the students are discussing how perceptions of stereotypes are presented. In addition to writing some of their own poetry about the subject, they drew a woman and discussed the decisions they made that led to their drawing style. They talked about the historical, cultural and social representations of the construction of gender in their drawings. All of this exploration is in preparation for their Internal Assessment of the Individual Oral.