In a society that has washed down a heavy dose of patriarchy and idealized whiteness, it doesn’t take long to know what is and isn’t considered beautiful by societal norms. The imagery of what comprises ‘beauty’ pervades our lives as early as when we are 5 or 6, be it Disney princesses or The Ugly Duckling. As women grow older, they start realising that the onus of being beautiful and attractive falls largely on them and they must aspire to that perfect hourglass figure and go with a no-makeup makeup look (because men prefer a natural look). We must at all times keep up with our appearances to fit into the picture of the ideal woman, mostly the eurocentric vision of a woman. But no matter what you do, you are sure to fall short.
As Naomi Wolf argued in her redefining work on the idea of female beauty, The Beauty Myth, “Most urgently, women’s identity must be premised upon our ‘beauty’ so that we will remain vulnerable to outside approval, carrying the vital sensitive organ of self-esteem exposed to the air.”
“The feminine beauty ideal is a socially constructed opinion that one of the woman’s most important assets is an attractive physical appearance and that’s something all women should strive to achieve and maintain,” believes RIITH — a conceptual visual art platform that aims at expressing emotions through their lens. Their core value that “each visual has an emotion/backstory to convey and that’s what we want to portray through our creatives”, translates into their latest photoseries SCULPT.
Revolving around the idea of how society views female beauty in a monolith, their persuasive photoseries wishes to portray how we need to break away from regressive beauty standards and is an attempt to showcase “how each female is sculpted in a way that makes her unique and beautiful”.
We see a woman cast in clay, driving the point of being modelled in her own likeness, and as is true of most clay models and sculptures, none is exactly identical to the other and thus the idea of female beauty is one that though imagined, cannot be homogeneously replicated.
You can checkout their work here.
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