How this era’s art is debunking body shamers.
With armpit hair censored on Instagram, Gigi Hadid called ‘too big’ for modeling and period adds being banned for ‘inappropriateness’, it appears that for us women, there is no place left for anything less than ‘perfection’ in this society. Being aware that beauty ideals go back to an untraceable time, it is safe to say we have reached the limit. As we are the Selfie obsessed, social media horny generation with a strong opinion and a reasonably big ego, it seems the fingers are all pointed at us; and so we left ourselves with a mess, where deviations of what we consider perfect are selectively disregarded and 80 per cent of the female population feels awkward about themselves. Isn’t it time for us to fight this weird situation we have found ourselves in before we lose the idea of what the reality actually is? Being bored of the traditional female body parading throughout the art scene, these next artists challenge the idea of beauty and provide us with a brutally honest representation of female diversity.
Exploring the struggles of ‘black’ hair through pastel coloured still lives, Nayeka Brown might be the perfect badass example of self-acceptance. Confronting us with the reality of our definition of beauty in the context of a black woman, the photographer dares to tackle the taboos surrounding body image, race and tradition in an undeviating way.
If there is one thing to admire this Finnish artist for, it’s her courage to approach her body in a humorous way. Shoving a broom under her boobs, putting on a hat with ‘bread hair’ while standing on a treadmill, nothing is too absurd for this upcoming photographer. However while she’s having the time of her life making these shots, she’s simultaneously teaching the world a lesson about body shaming, taking a piss with beauty ideals and questioning the fact that abnormal may be normal.
Although still finishing up her studies, illustrator Layla May Ehsan is already getting her voice out there, and I can assure you it is a powerful one. Highlighting a painful and these days rather shaming thing that goes on inside women’s bodies, Layla’s period drawings are aimed to start a conversation, pointing out the ridiculousness of the lengths the world goes to in order to avoid the ‘gross’ subject of menstruation.
As tolerance is hiding behind a world full of stereotypes and discriminating thoughts, there is a powerful counter reaction going on to actively help our society towards acceptance. From indie films dedicated to a love for chubbiness to a photography movement capturing body reality of our diverse society, it seems we are finally ready to be honest about our bodies and if body honesty is the theme of this era’s art, than at least there is something we are doing right.