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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