The Body Project
Representation is a big part of the work I do. I provide space for reflection and discussion through issues of stereotyping, insecurity, and assumptions that come out of media representation, making me more conscious of who is seen in popular media. In past and current projects, I focus on the representation of People of Color and create space for us to tell our stories.
In the Tell Your Story project, I asked women of color to choose a word people associate with them. I didn’t ask questions, I wanted them to feel comfortable sharing what they wanted with me. I also have not posted the video anywhere because the people I interviewed didn’t want that. I don’t believe in forcing an answer out of someone based on what I believe to be true because it’s not about me. I want people to feel in control of what they share and comfortable talking about their experiences without feeling like they need to share them with the world.
I am now working on The Body Project, a short film about my body and growing up with beauty standards in Los Angeles. The statement driving this film is about feeling invisible within the eyes of beauty and comes from an interview with my mom. I started thinking about what that meant to me; wondering if what I wanted as a child—to be beautiful in the eyes of the mainstream media—is what I still want. The idea for this project came from the need to treat and love myself better. This is a process of reflection, healing, and growth and is not meant to be hidden. I want it to feel real and accessible, while still being a piece of media.
History is also important to me in thinking about beauty and the stereotypical representations of sexual desire placed on women of color. In many ways, these stereotypes still exist and play a role in how women of color are represented and treated within the eyes of beauty and popular media. I am working to discontinue these stereotypes as the standard I hold for myself and finish the process of loving my body regardless of trends and how I may or may not fit into them.