Wednesday November 21, 2019 By: Kismat Mokhtar
The unrealistic “perfect” body images of models in advertisements and marketing campaigns are distorting the perception of beauty in the minds of women. This idealized image of skinny models on the runways and in ad campaigns send messages to women that a thin body size reflects beauty and attractiveness. Moreover, girls growing up surrounded by such advertisements are negatively influenced by them.Instead of embracing their bodies, they rebel against theirbody image. When they compare their bodies to the ones they are exposed to, they feel insecure about themselves and their attractiveness, which results in a sense of low self-esteem and lack of self-confidence. Seeking and maintaining perfect bodies put women, from an early age, under a lot of pressure, which leads to many health-related problems, including depression and eating disorders.
With this in mind, artist Esraa Zidan, 28, defied this unrealistic image in her own way. A woman activist and a feminist artist, she uses her art to advocate for women who don’t fit in the mold of advertising agents. She dedicated her latest art exhibition “Rainbow Neighbors” to overweight women. The exhibition showed a collection of 45 paintings of “curvy” overweight women enjoying their lives, interacting with each other, bathing, dancing, performing, swimming. Promoting a message of body positivity, her paintings are a reverse message that women can in fact enjoy life and have fun at any weight. “I’m not encouraging females to gain weight, I’m only saying they should be happy, even if they are,” she explained in an interview Daily News Egypt.
Esraa Zidan graduated with honors from Faculty of Fine Arts, Helwan University in Cairo. She is a Teacher Assistant at the Faculty of Applied Arts and preparing for her PhD on women who are portrayed in art in unique usual measures. In recognition of her artistic talent and skill, Zidan was awarded a certificate of appreciation from the Egyptian Cultural Centre in Italy. She has participated in many local and international art exhibitions, and her art work is featured in several private collections in Cairo and Dubai.
Photos credit to Esraa Zidan
Check Esraa Zidan Facebook page here
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