Graduation Year

2017

Graduation Month

May

Document Type

Thesis

Degree Name

Bachelor of Arts

School or Department

Anthropology

Major

Anthropology – Linguistics

Faculty Mentor

Liz Ametsbichler

Faculty Mentor Department

Modern and Classical Languages

Keywords

beauty, culture, intersectionality, photo, feminism

Subject Categories

Feminist, Gender, and Sexuality Studies | Fine Arts | Photography | Visual Studies

Abstract

This project is an explorative multi-media essay aimed at capturing diverse individual expressions of femininity. It was conceptualized out of frustration and also admiration. I saw many beautiful women I admire struggle with beauty norms and standards and the constraints of the modern conceptualization of femininity. Some of the universals of womanhood--menstruation, public hair, aging-- have come to be seen as entirely unfeminine, and many of the women around me were beginning to challenge that. These women’s experiences, my own education, our discussions, and my personal struggles as a woman trying to establish my own identity in a world that often marginalizes women’s voices, identities, and abilities inspired me to explore diverse conceptualizations of femininity. I wanted to let women’s identities to be seen and heard. I worked to capture these insecurities, confidences, struggles, and personal experiences with femininity through amateur photography, combined with their words, artwork, and poetry, to reimagine the feminine. By creating a space for these identities to be celebrated, we challenge traditional notions of femininity and the stigmas around female sexuality, natural beauty, and individual and non-traditional expressions of femininity to be more inclusive of diverse, unique feminine identities.

The project has developed through its own creative process as I have worked with these women. It has evolved as an expression of these women’s personal experiences with their femininity independent of my artistic vision. It has become a way for women to explore their femininities for themselves, to empower them in their insecurities, and to celebrate their unique identities as women. Their stories are worth sharing, and this project is their platform.

More information on the project can be found at my website, https://nlboise.wixsite.com/badassbeauties.

Honors College Research Project

Yes

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© Copyright 2017 Natalia L. Boise