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General advertisements present to us idealized images of beauty that seek to persuade customers that they will become a new and improved version of themselves if they use their product. It is quite common that these products are advertised by a beautiful young woman; conventional beauty is her only attribute. She is slender, tall and fit. She has no wrinkles … Actually it kind of looks like she has no pores. Thanks to these advertisements we are made believe that our desirability and lovability are contingent upon our physical perfection and that beauty is the rent we must pay to the world for being alive.
What happens when you open a magazine and, as much as you look, you don’t find yourself represented in any of its beauty ideals? What effect does it have on you when you are judged over the things you cannot change about yourself? What do you make out of it?
Nadine Ijewere made art out of her insecurities. To be more specific, Nadine made beautiful, colorful photographs of women and men who, in their own particular way, express with their uniqueness a thrilling celebration of individual human beauty.
“I don’t really look out for something specific, it could be the texture of their skin, or their smile, or the features on their face. Maybe they have a few moles or freckles that I find interesting, the texture of their hair. I want my work to be championing the differences between us.”
The lack of representation in the beauty industry is not just “not fair”. It’s damaging us deeply as individuals and as a society. And that's why art such as the one that Nadine makes is so important.