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The Rest Is Drag

Nicole Denise White

Nicole Denise White is exploring her relationship with femininity and performance in this self-portrait. Using exaggerated makeup, she is questioning how she can control how she is perceived as well as submitting to the external societal pressures put upon her. The performative expression of one’s gender identity is drag which is an everyday reaction to how we present ourselves to the world. She is performing her heightened femininity in response to the constant male-gaze. It is a facade, a way of coping with the societal pressures of women. Should she be sexy? Or innocent? Should she be strong? Or passive? Should she be happy? Or sad? Everything at once?

Artist Statement Video: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VyICEIKEaHA&ab_channel=NikiWhite

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