.5 Portfolio

Natalie

Natalie

“Society and the media vastly warped my perception of beauty growing up. Because the industry had fabricated an image of the untouchable woman as a vehicle to sell products, which in turn cast societal standards of beauty, my entire life I evaluated myself through a screen of false images and perceptions. It has taken me a long time to see beautiful aspects of myself that are wonderfully unique to me.”

Ola

Ola

“It feels incredibly weird to be in front of the camera rather than behind it because I’ve been a photographer since the time I was 13 years old. I remember being enchanted by the wonderful photos I would see plastered all over blog pages of gorgeous, svelte girls with flawless faces. The conceptual shots were the ones that spoke most to me, and I came up with my own concepts that I knew needed illustration, so I picked up a camera and went out to the world. I’ve been photoshopping since 13 too, so even though I know just how magical – and terrifying – the software is, I’ve still had my fair share of image issues. I’m not going to lie, when I take photos, I retouch them just like all the magazines do – airbrushing and all. That’s what people want. They want to be flawless and frozen in time, because that’s what society tells them to be. They’re supposed to be beautiful and thin and flawless because otherwise, they won’t belong. They’ll be ostracized, and that goes against the very core of our human psyche – our need to belong.

You know what? Makeup is like the “real world” version of Photoshop. Use the correct technique to blend your cover up and powder and you can make your blemishes disappear. Understand bronzer and highlights? Make your cheekbones appear to pierce through your skin and make your nose sharp and svelte. Understand colors and eyeshadow? Make your eyes appear to be twice their normal size. Use the creams and powders and liners correctly, and you can be flawless. You can be flawless and you can belong.

However, I wear makeup for me. I don’t wear it for society. I wear it for me because I like to play around and accentuate my big, wide-set eyes and my pixie nose. I like how artistic the process is – applying basecoats of certain products and blending colors together to create a product that appeals to the human aesthetic. It’s an undeniable art, and my face is my canvas. Society – and the media – may dictate that we need to be perfect and flawless, but I dictate that I want to show my best face to the world – and whether that face be in full makeup or merely in subtle hints of a few products – and be proud of who I am, “flawless” or not.”

Hannah

Hannah

“In 8th grade my self-confidence was non-existent, because of the measuring stick the media was constantly shoving in my face. I knew that they weren’t “real” women, but I still wanted to look like them; I still wanted to be perfect. I would wake up in the morning and cry because of the flaws I saw in the mirror, wishing I looked like someone else.. What I didn’t realize was that God makes every single woman a MASTERPIECE in His sight. We have just tainted the works of art.”

Jasmin

Jasmin

“The way women are retouched and portrayed in the media is so unrealistic. Not only does it set a standard of beauty that no human can achieve, it actually makes you feel inadequate because you think that’s how every normal woman should look. They shave away at the human female until she’s no longer a woman, but a product.”

Diana

Diana

“There is a certain irony or paradox to cosmetics or makeup, a cheerful friend to most ladies but definitely a deceptive foe as well. Honestly I don’t have a vendetta against makeup or even the societal focus on the outward appearance of a person. In fact, I think, it’s only natural in a world where lives are so rushed and a person can only relate to another using five senses alone, sight playing possibly the biggest part. Therefore, it is only natural that humans produce products to enhance certain features they believe will get them just that much further in life. I have seen makeup do remarkable things like give a girl with eye-turning acne the confidence to say that she is beautiful and believe in herself and her body. The paradox with makeup is that while it has the power to give someone that confidence boost, it is also the reason why that someone might have felt insecure in the first place. Today, makeup along with other forms of cosmetic tools are used to create THE image that every girl strives to achieve but is ultimately unreachable because it’s made-up. Makeup itself, however, is not the root of all evil; it is the people with the power to influence millions of women through a single billboard ad that abuse the tools given, and it is people that are the ultimate oppressors of each other.”

Lindsay

Lindsay

“It is hard to drive by the billboards, watch the commercials on television, and flip through magazines with shots of gorgeous women on them and not think, “Wow, I wish I had her [eyes, hair, jawline, body, abs, legs].” I feel like in today’s society we tend to criticize more than compliment, which can quickly turn into criticizing ourselves, therefore lowering our self-esteem. However what many people fail to fully accept is that these women are made to look like that with professional makeup artists and Photoshop. By publishing these images, the media is indirectly stating that even after they choose the “prettiest” girls, even they aren’t good enough. So…who is? I believe that the women who are confident in and happy with their appearance are those who shine the brightest of all.”

Niki

Niki

“Personally makeup doesn’t affect me much, it’s the girls wearing it and selling it that do. Girls that are selected for their height, weight, and look are done up in the best clothes and make up for advertisements, not only representing a small portion of what the actual population really looks like, but they also still aren’t good enough. After picking the prettiest, thinnest girls, the media introduces Photoshop: making the girls prettier, thinner, and even more unrealistic. These are the “girls” I have to compare myself to. The ones I’m supposed to aspire to look like, and they’re not even real.

Sarah

Sarah

“I love who I am; I’m loud, smart and quirky and I think I look pretty darn good.  Yes there’s always going to be someone taller than me, prettier and skinner than me, and yes, I wish I looked like a Victoria’s Secret Model.  But in my 19 years I have learned those “models” are the exception to the rule and now I use them as a model for what I don’t want to be.  All the girls that try to be the media’s artificial woman tend to be vain, two-dimensional, and unhappy; and why would anyone live their life that way? Yes the media and these models and celebrities will always be prevalent in our culture but I believe the girls who ARE real are the most beautiful women out there.”

Shelby (DiamondstoGlass)

Shelby

“I grew up as a tom boy, sworn off makeup, magazines, and anything too girly.  I started wearing makeup for horse shows and soon found that I felt ugly whenever I wasn’t wearing makeup.  By my senior year of high school I found that I had broken all my tom boy rules, comparing myself to the girls all over the media and completely dependent on makeup if I had any desire to show my face in public.  I had the idea to do this project one day when I did heavy makeup on one side of my face to see what the difference would look like.  I can honestly say it still disgusts me how fabricated pictures can still affect my body image. I hope this project helps people create an emotional connection with this problem, not of makeup, but rather the way altered media affects women. There are many campaigns highlighting this problem, but this brings a completely new perspective I hope other people can see.”

Elizabeth

Lizze

“I felt very privileged to be part of this project because I think it addresses a universal issue that affects every person. Growing up, I struggled with self-image issues, as any girl in our society does. I had acne scars on my face for years, trying to get rid of the blemishes that kept me from being beautiful. I remember an elderly man who came up to me in the mall and asked me what was wrong with my face, if I had some sort of disease. I had more masculine features, such as my eyebrows, and I was teased in line for the diving board when I wore a two-piece bathing suit to my local country club pool. I had the luxury of eating anything I wanted and staying skinny–but my little sister struggled with weight issues and self esteem, ultimately resulting in corrective surgery to not only help her accept herself, but to save her from imminent diet-related diseases. I have beautiful friends who lament over their hair, skin, and physiques. And it’s not just girls who are struggling to accept themselves–I have a gorgeous, talented boyfriend who has struggled to be happy with his body for years. I feel that beauty today is distorted, warped– I stare at the Victoria Secret Angels and even the TCU Showgirls and I feel inadequate. I will never look like them, I feel like I could never be sexy or stunning and command attention and admiration. I could never merit passionate love with one look. I look at what society tells me is beautiful, and I am coerced into feeling that I will never be good enough. But this project has done something very important–the project was inspired by girls like me, who strive for an impossible ideal, a fake ideal. We want to look like the girls in the magazines, who invite you in with their sparkling eyes. But if you look at these pictures, and you see the contrast and the truth. You simultaneously see the glowing face of a perfect but simulated girl, a ghost, and the face of the girl who expresses beauty not just from her external features but also from her spirit. That is where true beauty lies. These photographs depict us as if we were newborns, untouched by this world—undeniably beautiful and pure.”

Elise

Elise

“To me makeup is a security blanket. If for one day I decide not wear makeup I get comments such as ‘Are you ok? You look sick?’ Not the best thing for a girls confidence. Makeup has been such a big part of my life with out me even realizing it. I try not wear too much because when people look at me I want them to see my face instead of a mask. I find it sad that we are so consumed by looking perfect that we forget how beautiful the flaws of people can be. I am trying my best now to wear less and less makeup until hopeuflly I will feel comfortable being just me.”

Cassandra

Cassandra

“The first time I ever considered using make-up was in 7th grade. Before then, it didn’t even cross my mind. But at the beginning of 7th grade, I was diagnosed with an OCD called trichotillomania, which caused me to pull out my eyelashes and eyebrows subconsciously. I was extremely concerned about the fact that I didn’t have eyelashes, so the obvious solution was to fix it with eyeliner. Since then, I’ve been hyperaware of my make-up and when I use it. It’s become society’s norm to always wear make-up, and it kinda sucks, to be honest. I’d rather sleep than apply make-up in the morning. Society’s image of women is kinda screwed up all over, though. I saw this picture on the Internet of how much Katy Perry had been photoshopped for a magazine cover. Katy Perry looked absolutely stunning in the first picture, yet they still found things to fix? It blows my mind. I think we need to rethink as a society the ideas that we’re pushing on women, young and old. There needs to be a change of heart.”

Alexandra

Alexandra

“I think for me, seeing how make up affected the girls around me affected me the most. I would see these girls who would put on a ridiculous amount of make up and they looked beautiful. However, I also saw them on the days they chose not to go through that routine and saw how sick and tired they looked. Because of this dramatic change, I have decided to not wear make up as much. I feel that make up should be used for special occasions, and that one should honor their natural beauty.”

Haley

Haley

“The people portrayed in ads, magazines, and the media in general seem to have everything: grace, friends, fame, popularity… and the messages say that it’s all because their bodies are perfect. It is truly ridiculous that girls are told they need to have perfect skin, hair, height, and shape to be acceptable. It simply isn’t real. No one looks like those models portrayed in the media, not even the models. There is not a single model of beauty. It comes in all shapes and sizes, and it has nothing to do with how smooth someone’s skin is or how flat their stomach is. Probably about 90% of girls today think they are ugly in some way, and 100% are wrong.”

Tori

Tori

“Like most young women, positive self image has been a personal struggle growing up. I remember being at my lowest body-image wise at around December of my junior year of high school. But from that dark place, being completely vulnerable with all my walls of insecurity broken down, I discovered that hiding my own natural beauty was not healthy for me physically or emotionally. I had no reason to hide my true, natural beauty because that is what truly makes us stunning. Beauty isn’t about what you look like, or even how you act. A truly beautiful person is one who accepts his/her self as beautiful and truly believes it. We don’t need to change who we are, especially on the outside, to be beautiful.”

Advertisements