My Fashion Filter Panel Talk on Cultural Perceptions of Beauty

May 01, 2014  •  Leave a Comment

Several months ago, Francisca Pineda of the Ethical Fashion Academy reached out to me to participate in a panel talk she was hosting on Perceptions of Beauty.

The talk was designed to create a conversation about the perceptions of human beauty through art and design, and to talk about ways in which we are hoping to shape our culture at large.

The event, graciously hosted by the Wix Lounge in New York City on April 7th, brought together women from array of artistic backgrounds.

It was an amazingly diverse panel, but we all seemed to have one big thing in common:  we had participated in the pervasive beauty culture only to find that it didn't serve us.

In fact, most of us found that our current beauty culture was destructive, and each of us has sought out a way to reframe our beauty ideology in a new and healthier way.

To be perfectly honest, at first I wasn't sure that I was ready to speak about my work in a public setting.

As I mentioned on the blog a few weeks ago, the photographs that I create come from a very vulnerable space.

For a long time I thought that I couldn't even share that kind of work with people, especially clients.

A close up black and white photograph of a woman's lips."Your Voice." Fine Art Photography by Jen KiabaClick to purchase the print.

I thought my art was too dark and too raw to share.

So today I wanted to share my talk with you, and give you the chance to hear about some of that clarity and my own personal journey - in my own voice.

 My wonderful sister was kind enough to record it and put together this video for me, so thank you to her.

A big thank you also to the other women on the panel with me, to Francisca for putting the panel together, to Wix Lounge for giving us the beautiful space for our talk, and last but not least, to the wonderful friends of mine who came out to support me for this talk. Seeing your faces in the audience helped give me courage to shine light on some dark places!

 

Cultural Perceptions of Beauty is such a huge topic, so I tried to distill it down to what I know best. I shared about my personal experience leaving a very fundamentalist culture, and how I've been constantly learning to reframe my ideas of femininity and beauty.

Now I would love to hear from you: what are some ways that you are letting your authentic voice be heard? What does that voice tell you about your identity and sense of beauty.

 I'd love for you to contribute to the conversation by leaving a comment below!

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