• Sophie Mustonen

'Body Image,' by Zoe Wade


dible artist. “Ever since I could remember, art has always been an intricate part of my life. Not only has it helped me cope with my feelings, but it has also allowed me to express important social issues as well,” says Zoe, explaining her journey with art. She is an advocate for human rights, participating avidly in the Black Lives Matter movement among many other social justice causes, as she is a woman of colour herself. “Growing up was a real cultural setback for me because I was constantly being surrounded by girls that looked nothing like me but yet I was expected to be like them. Unconsciously, I found myself becoming a totally different person solely because I wanted to fit in.” She has also been impacted by the beauty standards of society, which has caused her to become aware of her influence as a woman and has taken action as an advocate for women’s rights as well. “From changing my hair styles to trying to change my skin colour to even trying to lose weight, the pressure of wanting to conform to everybody else’s ideals really made me doubt my self worth.” Through Zoe’s creative process, she has learned that art can become an outlet for internal struggles and the pressures of society. “Fortunately, through art and other forms of self love, I managed to regain my confidence, but sadly, millions of other young girls are being controlled by those same unrealistic standards perpetuated in our society and aren’t strong enough to pull themselves out.” Zoe has created a piece that expresses her view of the media and the unrealistic beauty standards that have been implanted into the minds of young women. “I realize that with this quarantine, more and more of this harmful content is becoming more accessible for the younger and more vulnerable audiences that struggle with their self image so I wanted to create something to share that. I created this art piece using paint, magazines covers and other art mediums to both capture and unveil the damaging messages being broadcasted and conditioned into women and girls around the world. Not only in hopes of exposing the power these harmful ideals can have but to put an end to the systems that continue to promote and condone self-hate and body shaming.” This powerful piece created by Zoe not only encaptures the image society creates for women, but also the damaging aspects that women face trying to face these standards