Follow These Rules: Periodic Table of Beauty
2014 – ongoing
Margaret Washington, a recurring character in my work, is a young woman living in New York City who is having trouble finding gainful employment until she receives an offer to work for The Colonial Group as a Beauty Consultant. Margaret accepts the offer, only to find that the job requires her to be the exact opposite of who she is physically and vocally as well as morally and ethically. She finds herself in a position that pays the bills and gives her disposable income but is simultaneously killing her Spirit.
Follow These Rules: Periodic Table of Beauty examines the incessant propagation of unattainable beauty standards that lead to self-hate, anorexia, and suicide. Utilizing the Periodic Table of Elements as a reference, this work illustrates the colorism, class divisions and bigotry that coerce women into living two lives simultaneously – the private freedom and the public mask. In chemistry, elements must be balanced to produce a desired effect, but chemical imbalances occur that produce undesirable outcomes. To maintain two sane personalities as one person is an exercise in mental gymnastics, where one misstep can cause serious injury or even death. How will Margaret cope with the multiple personas in her mind? Can they reside harmoniously or is one stronger than the other? How will she look in the mirror and confront herself – who is herself?