Malena Dowling – We Deserve to Feel at Home In Our Bodies

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Faculty mentor: CoCo James

Artist’s Statement: As someone who has suffered from eating disorders and severe body dysmorphia since age eight this topic is very important to me. And while there are many aspects to our society that push people to better themselves, the beauty standards that are forced on us can have negative effects on young girls and how they look at themselves. We are told at a young age that we must look a certain way or we won’t get as far in life, this is very common to girls especially. We have this expectation to uphold that is just unrealistic for most people. These expectations that are forced on us are causing girls starting at such a young age to develop different forms of self-harm because they feel they aren’t good enough for society’s standards. We are spoon-fed “perfect” influencers and famous people that only look that way because they either paid thousands of dollars or are really good at taking pictures at the right angle and use a lot of photoshop. Either way so much of what we see every day on social media is so fake. Which just teaches us that if we aren’t “perfect” we need to do everything we can in our power to make ourselves look “perfect” even if it’s fake. My artwork is depicting the ways in which many girls see themselves. When you don’t love your body you spend all day staring at it in the mirror picking apart every flaw. You measure yourself or weigh yourself multiple times a day to see if you’re losing weight. You become so obsessed with the way that you look that you spend all your time at the gym, counting every single calorie that goes into your mouth, and staring at everything you hate about yourself until you’re exhausted and feel completely worthless. I am tired of seeing people who are truly beautiful hating themselves because society told them they weren’t skinny enough or pretty enough. It’s time to stop just promoting body positivity, and actually start enforcing it into our society. We deserve to feel at home in our bodies.

View my art below!
Questions or comments? Contact me at: malenadowling@gmail.com

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