A woman... is almost continually accompanied by her own image of herself. — John Berger / Way of Seeing
'Melancholy Beauty' is an ongoing series of portraits, a project about the state of feminine beauty, a beauty defined by the superficial. The viewer sees photos of young attractive women staring into a limiting reality that values our outer appearance over our inner world. These images probe what lies beneath a beautiful face, the struggles we share as women, how we embrace our power and how we give it away.
What causes feelings of helplessness, self-defacement, when are we numb from indifference or neglect? When do we find ourselves responding with anger and fighting back?
These women are frozen in between moments, caught in the act of self-reflection, between stillness and action, between self and other, between memory and present time. This in-between moment is the threshold of change. Where time will take them is uncertain yet they prepare for the unknown.
This body of work is motivated by how I cope with a bias that stereotypes and discriminates against women — photographing as an interview and documenting by making art — dissects the myths of beauty and ageism. I move beyond a pretty face to reveal what inspires us as women, what angers us, what motivates us and what causes us pain, and how we move towards liberation and away from our own limiting views.
Taking photographs offers me a way to fill a desire to connect with other women — to share a common experience through dressing and make up and the act of looking and finding. The shutter is released; a moment is defined, left bare, raw for us to examine, for all to see, proof of our struggle, proof of our existence.
My goal for this project is to open to diverse populations of women, across age groups and nationalities. I aim to research concepts of beauty and age and their social implications within a variety of cultures.