art

“Two Faced: On the Consequences of Beauty Standards”

proppe

“Two Faced”

The secrets of a woman’s mind are written in the details of her face.

Look closely.

Every expression, every line, and every crease has a tale to tell. They grow and change and multiply, just as the years do. Then, why is it that when I look in the mirror, I am consistently dissatisfied with what I see?

The root of my dissatisfaction lies in a variety of pubescent acne scars that have yet to fade; in the darkened circles under already dark, deep set eyes; in the thin but unmistakeable wisps of hair, around the corners of my lips and at the base of my nose, that bridge my eyebrows together.

I look in the mirror and I see an amalgamation of imperfections arbitrarily plastered together.

But there is a rawness in the way I choose to present myself. This amalgamation of imperfections is unassuming, unforgiving, and unafraid.
This is how I present myself to the world—this is how my story takes shape.

Why, then, is this what I am taught to dislike about myself? Why is this what I am taught to find fault with?

Every expression, every line, and every crease has its own tale to tell:

These acne scars are battle scars. My skin is my armor; tattered and trampled on, it shields my inner vulnerabilities and insecurities. These scars represent the years I spent hiding, covered in layers of foundation and concealer, failing to realize that beauty is more than skin deep.  These scars represent my development and growth, on both a physical and psychological level. While it is still imperfect, I’ve grown comfortable with my skin, in my skin.

It is often said that one’s eyes are the windows of the soul. Well, my soul shines out through them—they open wide, and bright, with excitement. Other times, these eyes are tired, showing exhaustion from late nights and sleep deprivation.
They crinkle when I laugh, just as tears pour out of them when I cry.

Hair grows relentlessly and freely all over my body—and, why wouldn’t it? Am I not human? Am I not alive and healthy?
Hair is the not-so-subtle reminder of my humanity, of my autonomy and my ability to choose. It can be both liberating and restricting, depending on how I choose to tame it.

My mouth is the vessel through which I articulate my thoughts; it is the vessel through which I express my emotions. The corners of my mouth curl up when I smile, and turn downwards when I am unhappy. It is with this mouth that I say, I love you, and with these lips that I let you feel and believe it.

The secrets of a woman’s mind are written in the details of her face.

Look closer.

Look deeper.

word by Fiona Williams

“The rawness of the artwork by Proppe caused me to reflect on how I view myself, particularly in light of the beauty standards perpetuated in the mainstream media. Whereas the female figure in Proppe’s art is depicted without inhibitions, I reflected on what I constantly find unsatisfactory, and then why I am unsatisfied with what I see: the immense amount of pressure we feel to be beautiful.” 

colour by Rebecca Proppe

“I’ve been making art my whole life, drawing story books and cartoons since I was a little kid. Now I’m an adult, and I still love to draw.

I’m currently studying art history mixed with some painting and drawing classes. Like most people I don’t know where my life will take me after graduation, all I know is I love art in all its forms and will be making it for the rest of my life 🙂

I hope some of you can enjoy my art as much as I did making it.”

 

2 replies »

Leave a Reply

Please log in using one of these methods to post your comment:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s