What do you see when you spend a minute looking at this beautiful face?
Out of the 40 women photographed for this project only 3 told me they liked their profile. Most winced when I asked them to turn to the side. The reason they don’t like their profile? It was the same for everyone. Their nose.
Since she was very young she believed she had to fix her nose to be beautiful.
Culturally everyone did. But one day she realized, “Then I wouldn’t be me.”
I can’t tell you how inspiring she is to me.
Take a minute to admire her beautiful profile.
This is me and that is you!
Embrace your beautiful features.
Why did you want to participate in #40Faces?
I wanted to praticipate in this project because I don’t like what I see. I am talking about the constructed ideals of beauty that are constantly suggesting to us that we should undergo a “makeover” to “fit in the beauty club.” I know what it does to girls, teenagers and women. I know it because I have been trapped in there and still sometimes am if I’m not careful.
What were your feelings and thoughts while I was taking your pictures?
Honestly, I did wonder how bad some of these would turn out because I was not posing, no makeup and you were choosing angles that usually are tabu (like my profile lol). However, after I did remind myself why I was doing it, it felt good to let go of those negative assumptions… And that process confirmed to me again how vulnerable my ego can be when it comes to exposing my unmasked self… I guess, I still got work to do!
What were your first and honest thoughts when you saw your pictures for the first time? After looking at them for a while? Now?
The first time I saw the picture on FB I thought, “Oh wow that’s too close of a shot”… but then looking at it longer I felt really comfortable with it. …and the comments helped too of course! Looking at them now I really see me! Looking back I see how an experiment in the beginning became a testimony… I’m glad I did it!
Before #40Faces what was your perception of beauty? What did you think of yourself? Others?
The first time I became aware of the social constructs of beauty in us was at GCC. It was during a women’s studies class where we discussed how women’s identities are being shaped. One of the projects we had in class was to “make” a barbie doll that would send the right message to girls about beauty. It was very challenging but also an eye opener. I was raised in a culture that values looks and has very high standards for how a woman is supposed to look in public. My mom however, always went against these norms of beauty (minus her nose job). Like she would always wear pants when women in Armenia in the early 90s did NOT wear pants (nor have short hair.) She looks like Ellen Degeneres ! As a kid I remember wanting her to be like the other moms. I wanted her to fit in… Now, of course I am very proud of her, for not giving in. I used to judge people by the way they looked (to what degree they were able to conform to the beauty norms) and I wasn’t even aware of it. The gospel helped me to see people as children of God and that changed everything!
What was your favorite post in the series, other than your own, why?
My favorite posts were the young & the elderly! They are so open and sincere… Looking at their faces is very inspiring! But maybe it’s because of what they portray: the past & the future…