Heena Chudasama


Photography, 2016

Fascinators have been associated with headgear in the 19th and early 20th centuries. Its purpose is to “fascinate” a personal charm. For my Walk the Art submission, I decided to create a magazine spread that depicts the theme of place in reference to one’s emotional well-being in society. The idea of my piece is to exemplify how external forces such as stereotypes restrict people from being who they truly are. My goal is to incorporate the fascinator’s unique nature theme with the overall design by symbolizing freedom. This is also represented by the text in the magazine spread that says “#befree”. In our society, a hash tag can quickly spread a revolutionary message such as this one. This spread would be placed in a fashion magazine, which provides a safe space for the LGBTQ+ community. For this specific piece, I photographed a male model wearing makeup, which is not yet completely accepted in our society. The model is seen to have a carefree pose in which he is confident about his appearance and identity. Surrounding him, there is a cloud full of positive and negative statements to show the boundaries that people face when trying to be themselves. These statements go from name calling with words like “fag” and “disgrace” and positive remarks such as “courageous” and “fierce”. In a sense, the model does not care for the negative stereotypes revolved around men wearing makeup because he is content with himself, which is all that truly matters. All in all, one’s mental state in which they feel happy and free is key to creating a healthy society where people feel that they have a place to belong. Without it, individuals are forced to be someone who they are not as they are unable to express themselves.