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THE RIGHT ONE...

THE SYNTHETIC VS. NATURAL

THIS PROJECT IS PART OF THE RIGHT ONE, AN ONLINE EXHIBITION, DONE ALONGSIDE AND FOR ASTONISH.

During the conversations held about the synthetic and the natural and what we were going to do, of course Covid-19 came into the equation. Not wanting to make it protagonist, however, it has definitely influenced the format and for me, it sparked the desire to expose a part of me.

I am one of those who got to really enjoy the introversion and me-time this past year gifted me with. Also, living in a small town in Germany has meant we have been lucky to not have to suffer from strict lockdowns or for too long.

Something that has been of particular interest for me, is the fact that many women around the world stopped their beauty routines and embraced, maybe for the first time in their lives, their whole selves without make-up, waxing and hair dying, among many others. I didn’t. Ok. I am Latin American and for us beauty is a serious topic. So when I moved to Germany, the comfort and strength of German women persuaded me to try it too. So, now I find myself beautifying when I have time, not that I need to wake up earlier but extra time, and if it’s something exciting. I am okay with my natural aspect. Except for my body hair.

I have been thinking of all the women who throughout last year started embracing their natural beauties since there was no outside pressure to look a certain way, anymore. Quarantine —woop woop! Yes, I enjoyed being a total introvert—. However, I did not stop waxing. Or stopped removing any of the hair from my body that I remove. I have been questioning myself hard on why do I do it: “I do not like hair, it is dirty”; “I do not need a man’s approval, I will still wax for me and my own pleasure”; “—but it hurts. Why do you still want to do it? — Well, because… it was engrained into my mind, making me belief that it was one of the other thousand ways to be beautiful, desired, loved”. To become the right one.

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The Right One Is Blonde 
Photo by Nima Ashrafi

I wrote a poem to my body hair hoping I would break a taboo for me. I am trying to heal and love and accept myself as I am. As I get older, I grow into loving what I have got. Growing up the beauty icons did not look like my little self at all, I mean, in terms of skin and hair color. That visceral hate I feel for my little black bits, was I aware? Would I still feel the same if they were blonde or golden and glittery? I have never dyed my body hair. I have wanted to do nothing with it, so I removed it. How much self-inflicted pain! Was I aware?

Stop Motion narrating the poem The Right One

So many labels start popping up: porn, girl, male gaze, beauty standards, blonde equals beauty, natural beauty, long hair, hairless body, tiny body, weak. How many (synthetic) processes do we put our bodies through to be (naturally) beautiful?

 

I am aware.

And still hoping I will love wholly, me. 

The right one
Video by Nima Ashrafi