Beauty is manifested in many ways and androgyny is one such manifestation. In this painting, I aimed to capture the features of an androgynous woman. Her femininity is neither overtly pronounced nor overstated. Aesthetically, there is a harmonious balance between feminine and masculine elements. Stylistically, she wears minimal make-up and dresses pragmatically. She accepts the natural contours of her body. Her beauty challenges and defies society’s definition of female beauty, as she rejects the prescribed “need” for false augmentation and ostentatious make-up. She knows that she is beautiful and that there is nothing to fix.
An Androgynous Affair
Medium: Acrylic on Canvas.
Size: 22 in. x 28 in. (55.8 cm x 71.1 cm)
Since youth, my generation (“Peter Pan” Generation or “Y” Generation) has been inundated with a narrow conception of beauty. With this conception have come a societal expectation and a personal obsession with “being beautiful.” The media and Hollywood have perniciously promulgated and promoted a singular image of feminine beauty, an image that is hyper-sexualized and flawless. Women have the impossible task of being eternally young, skinny, yet voluptuous in all the right areas, tall and hairless in addition to having perfect skin and sexy hair. By this standard, women are programmed to think that there is always something to fix. Tragically, for many women, happiness and self-worth are overwhelmingly derived from physical “beauty.” Likewise, their perception of their own desirability is linked to their “beauty,” as it measures up to the media’s standard. Today, women have access to innumerable procedures and treatments to “fix” their bodies and “validate” their sense of worth.
I find the over-sexualized and artificial (airbrushed) female image distasteful and unsavory. I abhor the idea that “beauty” can be bought and paid for. I find it offensive that lingerie stores chiefly sell push-up and padded bras. We ought to embrace beauty that defies and transcends the flawless, hyper-sexualized, young girl image that has been visually foisted upon us.