BFA Photography & Digital Arts

Minor in Business
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Artist Statement

Women and nonbinary individuals often bear the burden of navigating societal expectations about how they "should" look: from the way they dress to how they carry themselves, to deciding whether or not they'll shave their legs today.

This photographic series challenges these constrictive beauty standards through intimate portraiture. Working closely with women, nonbinary and queer individuals in my community, my images expand notions of beauty and attraction by breaking down the idea that there is a single proper way to "look good" and offer a multitude of new possibilities.

This collection of photographs is about being. It's about simply existing, feeling good, and disregarding the urge to look good for the eye of the viewer. Because all the individuals in this series are people within my own community, there is a great sense of trust that exists between them and myself, which gives them the freedom to exist as they are without concern of who's watching.

This series exposes the ways in which social pressure can suppress views of our authentic selves. Self-expression is supposed to be exhilarating and freeing, and I demonstrate that by presenting the individuals in my photographs as if they deserve to exist as they are, because of course they do. These photographs are my interpretation of genuine beauty and identity and take the first steps in tearing down the façade that hides our true and beautiful selves.

View more of Emily's work.



Click through to enlarge and view individual artworks from Emily's thesis project.

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