It’s hard to find your voice as a woman. We are told to be dainty. Told to be soft. What if we are none of those things? If we are not what the world wants us to be, then what are we? The answer is simple. We are us. We are ourselves.
I have chosen to take on the battle, to challenge these old-time beliefs of women. I am currently working on a series of cliché and grotesque self-portraits using digital media. I replicated famous artists and art pieces, such as Andy Warhol and his Marilyn Monroe. I also take my own photos of myself and shape myself into monstrous creatures. I do this to show my hate for the standards we are held to and the beauty expectations that are forced upon us.
The series is for a project in my college, Kentucky College of Art and Design, or KYCAD. My teacher, Kenyatta A. C. Hinkle, showed us a very helpful form of self-reflection that helped me come up with this art idea. For ten minutes, write in a journal or notebook, starting with the words I am or I am from. Don’t think too much, just write. Write the things that come to your mind and do not feel as though it must be some great masterpiece. You don’t have to show it to anyone. All you need to do is write. Below is my version of this exercise.
I am from the country. I am a not city girl. I am a freak of nature. I am the odd one out. I am a force of nature. I am the ground that binds. I am for all to see and hear. I am no one, yet I am. I am the one who speaks. I am the smile through the pain. I am a child of God. I am a child of heart. I am loud. I am quiet. I am calm. I am crazy. I am all these things and more. I am who I am. I am the odd one out. I am memories. I am pain. I am comfort. I am the odd one out. I am confusing and complex. I am simple and easy to read. I am me. This is me. Those are me. I am who I am, yet I am not them. I am me. I am I. She is me. I am her. We are we. We are the odd one out. I am shy. I am outspoken. I am soft, yet I am hard. I am the odd one out. I am smart. I am dumb. I am wise. I am a fool. I am the odd one out. I am who you want me to be. I am not that at all. I am free. I am trapped. I am the odd one out.
Once you’re done writing, you can go back and read over or make changes to what you have. Read over it carefully and reflect on what you have wrote. Do you need to find a way to love yourself? Do you think you’re ugly? Why? Is the only reason you think that because of media? Because someone told you that? Why? These are just some of the things you can reflect on. This is a great way to help you find self-image. It is also a great way to self-reflect. So, go out there, find a journal or a notebook, and write your heart out. Write down your feeling, your hopes, your dreams and, once you are done, go out there and love yourself. If you ever find yourself doubting, or hurting, look back on what you wrote, maybe even add to it, and think. You are beautiful. You are you.
Author: Amanda H Ellison
Author Bio: Up and coming artist and writer. Going to college for my art degree, I work in fantasy and feminist arts. Story telling is very important to me, and I try to tell a story with each piece I do. The story I am telling with this article is, beauty is what I say it is. I will not conform to the words versions of how I should look or act.
Link to social media or website: Instagram: @simplydreamyart