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16th Annual Smithsonian Magazine Photo Contest People
There is More to Life

“My identity has been shaped by being a diabetic and being a Southern woman who was raised in a very traditional home.I come from a family that has always stressed self – sacrifice over self – care no matter a person’s physical or mental health. Women are expected to have a husband and children. I was raised in a home that was very religious, conservative, and traditional. Think 1950’s gender standards. I personally don’t want to be married or be a mother at this stage in my life which is considered the normal age for marriage and children. I use recurring symbols such as sunglasses, hands, flora, and halos to represent the physical and mental aspects of ill health, societal pressure, stereotypes, etc. that women are facing today. Color in my work is used to deny the physical environment and create mood and give my work an artificiality that makes the reader realize the irrelevancy of these “rules” we as women try to live up to each day through our appearance and our actions. I am trying to blend familial and societal expectations with my own personal individuality."

Photo Detail
Date Taken: 06.2018
Date Uploaded: 11.2018
Photo Location: Ruston, Louisiana, United States of America
Camera: NIKON D5100
Copyright: © Keith Matthews