Prendi il Carne e Lasci l'Ossatura

You are a Slice of Meat

For most of my adolescence, I struggled with my perception of my body, and I felt very much so that my worth was tied to my flesh. I was always told I was beautiful, and I wasn't particularly made fun of by my peers, but I existed in a society where chubby girls weren't interesting, and weren't as valuable as skinny ones. I had friends who were thin, and I watched as they started to get attention from our peers for their attractiveness, while I remained unnoticed. Every week at Sunday Dinner, I heard my female family members talk about the new fad diets they were trying out. I saw my father obsessing over his own weight, and mine and my brothers' appearance, making subtle notes on how we needed to be 'healthier.' And other family members made comments to me, supposedly out of concern for my health, but I knew it was always for vanity.

The general culture in the 2010's was an obsession with weight and thinness, and I would obsessively look at 'thinspo' on tumblr, trying to find new ways to starve myself. So many other people have experienced these same pressures, have been reduced down to their flesh, and have thus placed their worth on their visual appeal.

With this project, I analyzed this phenomena of self-hatred in relation to the body in relation to the consumeristic culture of capitalism, and compared the way we treat human bodies to the way we treat animal ones--as a product to be consumed.

Animal bodies are considered merely meat, a product to be processed and sold. For humans, it's not much different. Your body is scrutinized so that you will purchase products to fix it, so that you can look good for others around you, so they will feel that same pressure. Often our worth is tied to our ability to please others, and the pleasure our bodies cause (or don't cause) is considered to be one of the major indicators of our worth.

After years of self reflection, I've come to point where I can see my worth outside of my body. Though I still have insecurities about my physical form, it is not tied to my self worth. I hope those who see this work might someday feel that same.

"Beef Carcasses", Oil on Canvas, 26in x 22in, Spring 2019

"You Are a Slice of Meat" Zine, Silkscreen on paper, folded: 6 1/2in x 5in; open: 13in x 20in, Fall 2018

"Observation", Oil on canvas, adhered to wood panel, 8 3/4in x 27in, Summer 2019

"What They Don't See", Oil on Canvas, 36in x 48in, Summer 2019

"Closeness", Oil on Canvas, 25in x 27in, Summer 2019