Through my work I’ve grappled with the ideas of how women are pressured in our society to fit into certain boxes, and the negative repercussions that stem from such pressures. I focused visually on the body to represent physical harm and pain that is induced by the expectations of what a woman should be. Working with details of the body allowed me to zoom in on more than just what’s on the surface and to explore how external suffering can mirror, in many ways, the concurrent internal disarray. 

In my first piece, (untitled), I wanted to highlight the societal pressures and expectations put upon women to appear happy and pleasant at all times in order to make those around them more comfortable. Women are judged significantly based on perceptions of the way they interact with others; how friendly they seem versus how cold or standoffish.  In my second piece, a ballerina's lower body is on display, one bloody pointe shoe in the forefront of the image and a folded leg, foot bare, behind it. Though the limbs seem to melt into one another and confuse the true subject of the painting, the shoe sticks out like a sore thumb. While beautiful to watch, ballet is not quite as sparkling an endeavor to take on, and I wanted to highlight the pain and brutality that is endured by these athletes. My third piece builds on this idea of covering up something ugly with something beautiful, through the image of three glitzy, sparkling bandages covering up gashes in a woman's shoulder. Although we know there is more going on under the surface, it’s easy to get caught up in the simplicity of what is being presented to you. My next two pieces work in tandem, the first of a woman’s middle section, underwear being sewn into her body to represent the way virginity and innocence is so highly valued and forced upon young women. In opposition, the second piece depicts a woman’s bruised knees, a common euphemism for a woman having performed sexual acts, which shows how, conversely, women are expected to do as their male counterpart pleases, putting those wishes above their own.  In my most recent painting, I’ve zoomed in on a woman’s eyes, dripping with tears, mascara running down her face. I wanted to use this image of makeup running to further the idea of how makeup is used to cover what is considered “ugly”, however