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You Define Your Power

During this difficult time of global pandemic I realized how hard isolation was. My photoshoots with models were cancelled and I was depressed. I called for submissions on Instagram reminding women that we, empowered, could get through this emotionally taxing time. I sought connection and service to cope with depression. I prompted women to declare their worth with a simple exercise. I encouraged women to take pictures of themselves in a trance that proclaimed “I own this and I am amazing, hot, sexy, and empowered.”

I would create an all-inclusive painting series based on these photos of women, any race, any age (+18), and any body type. As I published every painting, I became a platform for each of them to share a short text about their body, what this exercise meant for them, and what it challenged in them. I encouraged women to find whatever made them feel sexy, defiant of traditional beauty standards, empowered, and to have fun exploring their own fears and strengths through these photos. I created a space for women to have agency over their body and self-expression. The response was overwhelming and proved to be as healing for them as it was for me. It is a global collaboration with strangers dictating and challenging many of my visual parameters and a reminder that we individually have the strength to traverse the Covid-19 pandemic.

© 2020 Maria Raquel Cochez. All rights reserved.

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