From a young age, girls are taught to banish their anger and carry pain in silence; as we reach womanhood, the things people do to us remain unchecked. This self portrait was a way for me to process trauma and release it into a physical object.
I rendered my features as soft and whimsical to show that I didn't let myself harden against the violence. I am silent yet unyielding and I face the viewer unafraid. The bloody background represents all that has been done to me and everything I left unsaid, which builds tension against my calm expression to give the sense that I am forever on the verge of opening my mouth and screaming.
My power was taken from me on a whim, but through this painting I was able to take it back.