By Solby Lim ’18 and Katelyn Wang ‘18
This mixed media series focuses on the theme of feminine beauty and critiques societal expectations placed upon women. Specifically, the series explores how Western beauty ideals impact young women of color, and how they navigate through these patriarchal standards. The pairs of poems and photographs address issues from body image to fetishization to plastic surgery.
Many wonderful credits to Mekedas Belaynah ‘18, Jessica Hu ‘18, Minnie Mills ‘19, Dea Barreto ‘18, Trevor Lazar ‘17, Larson Tolo ‘18, Dan Ulanovsky ‘18, and Nastia Amueller ‘18 for the creation of the photographs.
I peer over an oval mirror,
squeezing and pinching and touching
wondering who I would be
if I was happy with my body.
It is not my job to be pretty.
She picks out the smallest grape
in the bowl,
saying she cannot eat past nighttime
her body will balloon to a size deemed ugly, a terrible fate
She is nine.
It is not her job to be pretty.
“Change your life for the better,”
the sign says, displaying the face
of a blank woman
airbrushed cheeks, shaved chin,
double-eyelid, sleek nose, tear-drop eyes
I stop and stare,
wondering if that’s all I am,
a body of features waiting for judgement.
It is not your job to be pretty.
I am not
a fetish, slut, whore.
I am not
I am worth the world,
and so much more than your gaze.