The Fictional Woman by Tara Moss: The Power of Labels


Tara Moss is a Canadian-Australian writer whose works include nine novels, including Fetish, The Spider Goddess and The Skeleton Key. She has also written the short story collections Psycho Magnet, Know Your ABC's and Intuition.


This 2014, Moss released her first non-fiction book entitled The Fictional Woman. According to Moss, the book combines her personal experiences with social commentary regarding the experiences of women in today's world. Although the book makes no claim at universality, Moss believes that many of her readers will be able to relate to the book.


One of the most remarkable things about the book is none other than its cover. It features the striking face of Moss, directly looking at the camera lends and in turn, the book's reader. But what's even more striking is the words scrawled in black all over here face. In her forehead, the words “Dumb Blonde”, “Bossy”, “Bimbo” and “Wife” are written. Her right cheek features the words “Feminist”, “Model” and “Inspiration”. While on her left cheek, one can read the words “Mother”, “Gold-Digger”, “Party Girl” and “Bitch”. Finally, the words “Bleeding Heart” and “Brainy” are scrawled along her chin.


These are the labels that Moss has worn throughout her life, which she also calls “fictions”. Some of them she wore willingly and proudly, while some have been tacked on to her against her will. Regardless of whether they were positive or negative, Moss claims that each label had a significance in her life.


The original plan was to add the words to Moss's face digitally. However, thanks to HarperCollins' direction and the artisitc creation of Becca Gilmartin, the team found a way to make the process organic. The whole process of scrawling the words carefully to Moss's skin took a total of five hours and some painstaking work on Gilmartin's part. According to Moss, the process was somehow symbolic of the gradual appearance of labels on her life.


Visit Tara's website here: http://taramoss.com/