Photos by Zach Le, taken with film photography.
Five Seaver students shared their thoughts on their perception of beauty. They described how they think beauty is framed societally and how the narrative regarding beauty standards should change. They spoke about factors including race, body image and gender, as well as their personal experiences and how they have shaped their points of view.
Julie Cowger; senior, major in Music with emphasis in Applied Voice:
I saw something that you have to be able to see the beauty in someone else, recognize the beauty in someone else without discounting your own. And that, to me, is something that’s very, very beautiful, especially from woman to woman. Just to be able to say she’s beautiful in her own way, but that doesn’t mean that I’m not.’ And being a plus-sized woman, it’s always hard because you get told, ‘you’re pretty, for a big girl.’ And there’s been a movement lately to say ‘I am not pretty for a big girl; I am pretty, period.’
Tara Jenkins; junior, major in Theatre and Media Production and minor in Creative Writing:
I think the only way that society is going to change is if the media that we consume changes. And that means in every aspect, from what we see in magazines, to what we see on TV or film, everything, I think it needs to encompass all of what is OK for a woman to be… Seeing other people accept everyone and say ‘everyone is beautiful,’ is I think what needs to happen.
Claudia Rodriguez; junior, major in Integrated Marketing Communication:
I guess I’m kind of partial to different ethnicities, being mixed myself, has helped to realize the beauty in different cultures, in different looks, in different styles. When I go to Puerto Rico, it’s so different than when I’m at home in Tennessee. Or when I’m here in California, you see so many different things, but this whole conglomerate of all of my experiences has created what I think is beautiful.
Chase Lewis; junior, major in Computer Science with Multimedia Design:
In regard to beauty in terms of race: It’s a lot easier to see people who are like you or who look like you, and I guess find a sense of comfort in that, but then when you are kind of mixed or thrown into other situations or other surroundings, then that’s when you struggle a little bit more to find out, like, who am I compared to everyone else. And that’s kind of where you find a lot of your self-identity because when you kind of, not necessarily get this feeling of being on your own, but just being more of an individual in society, then that’s when you start to just come to realize different aspects of yourself, your personality and then you grow, your level of confidence grows as you kind of figure things out along the way.
Evelyn Faung; senior, major in Business Administration and minor in Marketing:
Other people see you as beautiful, and I think we’re all very critical of ourselves and how we look in photographs and thinking about how others may perceive you. But others don’t judge you as harshly as you judge yourself, and yeah, I just think that there’s people who are going to see the beauty in you, and if they don’t, then that’s their problem.”
Follow Paola Ramos on Twitter: @PaolasPassport