Success in pageantry proved to be both my salvation as well as a burden. At twelve my sight began deteriorating with no cure. The rejection and prejudices I experienced in academia led me to seek out other means of fulfillment; this came in the form of beauty pageants.
Being both an insider and outsider of mainstream “beauty” I critique the unrealistic display of the “perfected” physical form through performance art. As self-elected Miss Art World, I question the dominating ideologies of beauty fused with the disturbing and obsessive struggle to obtain it.
“Woman: Two X chromosomes, 32 C, 110 pounds, 5’7, great at cooking, cleaning and sex”. This is the popular perception of women in the media We, the public, are presented with an estimated average of 3,000 advertisements per day of touched-up photos representing far-from-realistic expectations of women. But how do these expectations relate to real women? Conflicts in feminine identity created by this motif of the ideal woman are competing with women’s rising influential positions in society as well as the expectations to uphold traditional female roles. It is my own uncertainty of these expectations that fuels my need to examine these conflicting roles. In my artwork, I analyze women’s magazine covers, and other forms of marketing to observe the conflicts created by the heavy pull between traditional and modern feminine roles.
One of marketers’ most effective and influential strategies comes in the form of celebrity product endorsements. Adopting the same marketing strategy in my artwork, I acknowledge and recognize the influence celebrities have on the interpretation of women’s roles and expectations. My goal is to create awareness of advertising’s influence so that individuals can formulate their own opinions and choices.
The creation story of Adam and Eve was the impetus for using the title Eve Design in my artwork. Having achieved celebrity status herself, Eve was designed as the first woman, as well as given the power of choice. Each Eve Design cover constructs a paradoxical image merging the predictable with the unexpected, forming a humorous yet demanding painting which forces people to reevaluate traditional and contemporary roles.