Smoking Ladies

This project explores the smoking norm of the mid 20th century.

Smoking used to be a very common habit amongst people everywhere. I wanted to focus on the women, those whose voices were not as loud as their male counterparts. Each woman in this series displays a different style, a different personality, a different being. Each woman then has a hand holding a cigarette in a unique style. The hands are not meant to belong to the women necessarily.

While smoking is not as big of an issue today as it was even just a decade ago, there is still evidence of it. Today, the norm is evolving into e-cigarettes or vape pens, an improved alternative to traditional methods. Women have also become more independent and powerful, trading the typical secretary job for a CEO position. I wanted to take these two ideas and create something that responds to society and cultures of the time.

The ladies I have chosen represent what would have been the high-class styles of their time. These women were taken from various magazines, cut out and pasted onto a black background. Then, a hand holding a cigarette was inserted, and smoke began to cover the women. Some have more smoke covering them while others have a minimal amount. This is done to emphasize the rise and fall of the smoking habit.