Latina Artist Is Tearing Apart European Beauty Standards One Picture at a Time

Artist Zuly Garcia is exemplifying what Latinx beauty looks like through an authentic lens and simultaneously breaking down the European beauty standards that we’re constantly bombarded with.

Through her photo series titled “Flores Politicos” — which was part of a one-night only show called the Politics of Womanhood  — Garcia aimed to expose the wonders of indigenous beauty while also attempting to curb the ideals of unrealistic specifications. The group art show featuring 40 artists was presented by Galchemism, a community for women of color by women of color.

“I just decided that my project would highlight all of those women that feel that way by having it dismantle European beauty standards,”Garcia said in an interview with Mic. “I feel like the feminism movement brings many interesting issues to the table but it would be nice for once to see a part of feminism that you can relate to. The type of feminism that comes from indigenous folk for indigenous folks.”

In one of her most popular images, Garcia, a native of Oaxaca, wrote on Instagram: “I am not blonde, I am not light skinned, I don’t have colored eyes, I don’t have big breasts, I am not tall with gorgeous legs and my nose is not thin and pointed.

But I DO have caramel brown skin that tans beautifully in the summer and I DO have big brown eyes that let me see the world in a completely different way and I DO have long brown hair and a curved nose that remind me of my indigenous roots. So fuck the Barbie ideals, take your European features away from me, I won’t be your pretty doll who’ll you’ll then shape into a housewife. I am brown, I am resilient, I am beautiful.”

A couple of women in the photographs are seen burning a Barbie doll, which the doll itself is a longtime personification of the “perfect woman.”

When I flip through magazines I don’t see Oaxaqueñas,” Garcia told Mic. “It’s such a difficult era that we’re in, where we kinda push them aside to the shadows. I’m doing this by the people and for the people,” she said.

I love that everyone who I photographed attached something personal to them for my project. @dollklaw "As most childhoods, mine carried a lot of confusion. I was only attracted to women when I was a kid and didn't find a boy remotely attractive 'till I was in middle school. I was hesitant to come out as bi sexual in high school because I was afraid others would think I was being affectionate towards women as a way of seeking attention from men. Being told by other queer individuals that being bi sexual doesn't exist, you're either lesbian or straight did not help either. I realize now that I am valid. Sometimes I feel like dressing as what's normalized as "masculine" and sometimes I feel like dressing as what's normalized as "feminine", that does not define who I am". ✨✨❤✨✨❤✨✨❤✨✨❤ Just a heads up The day coming is up! I'm going to present my work at @galchemism alongside 40 other WOC artists who will be expressing what it means to be a women in today's political environment. Opening night is July 29th, 21+ Buy the tickets online for $7 or $10 at the door 💖 see you there cuties!!💐

A post shared by 🎭ℭrenshaw ℘ roletariat🎭 (@zulydelarose) on

Aside from being an artist, Garcia works at Lets.Give, a grassroots volunteer organization that provides monthly volunteer opportunities to high school and college students, and works to empower and maintain a movement of love, compassion and support.

Click here to view more of Garcia’s artwork.

[H/T] Mic: Gorgeous photo series shatters stereotypes about what it means to be beautiful

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