This is a blog about women as they/we age. I am a social artist and student of popular culture, curious about how women are affected by the advertising images and beauty messages we take in over the years.

I started the project in San Francisco. For three months, I interviewed women (age 60 and older) on their views of beauty when they were in their 20s, how they see beauty now and if/why there have been changes. I then  photographed the women  and made paintings of their faces on disposable surfaces. I had two exhibitions – at the CellSpace gallery where I was working and also the the 30th Street Senior Center, where I interviewed about 10 women. In the exhibitions, I posted excerpts from the interviews, the paintings and also objects from the women which they thought expressed some of their beauty.

I also created this blog to give space for their ideas and stories. Early on, I expanded the project to include online interviews. I want to give women of any age space to vent, give their opinions, share hard-earned pearls of wisdom. As long as I have interviews to post, I will continue documenting the stories I hear…


En mi proyecto he estado reflexionando sobre la industria publicitaria moderna. Las mujeres de la cultura occidental estamos rodeadas por imágenes de belleza en la publicidad. Me preguntaba cómo esto nos ha formado, como las mujeres de diferentes generaciones se ven afectadas.

Empecé el proyecto sobre mujeres, belleza y envejecimiento el año pasado en San Francisco, EEUU. Allí entrevisté mujeres mayores de 60 años, registrando sus recuerdos de cómo veían la belleza cuando tenían 20 años, sus ideas actuales y como su visión fue cambiando con el paso del tiempo. Durante las entrevistas fotografié sus caras, lo que más tarde me sirvieron para crear pinturas al óleo sobre superficies reciclables. En varias exposiciones mostré los retratos pintados en cajas de cartón junto a selecciones de cada entrevista.

En paralelo a estas entrevistas en persona, empecé un blog con entrevistas a mujeres de todas las edades y de diferentes países, que ahora ya cuenta con más de 60 entradas.

Actualmente estoy trabajando en la continuación de este proyecto, entrevistando, fotografiando y pintando mujeres de Girona comarcas, para profundizar en el significado de la belleza femenina a través del tiempo en Cataluña, España.


6 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. Patricia Villa-Alta
    Sep 24, 2011 @ 12:40:35

    Oh oh! I loved this story! I can picture her, sitting next to you talking about all this! She expressed very well how I feel about beauty, and makes me feel a little proud that women today arrive at this conclusion a little bit earlier, maybe, hopefully, with each generation 😉 Not that you want to look mangy and “ungroomed;” but not artificial either 😉


    • Beauty Sheen Queen
      Sep 24, 2011 @ 19:18:31

      I agree. No one wants to look mangy (or most don’t :). I find this a sometimes precarious balancing between carrying myself well, enjoying color, style and fashion, but also trying to live authentically and connect to other people (instead of distancing them).


  2. Jenny
    Oct 10, 2011 @ 16:55:07

    I love your concept and approach to beauty Julia!


    • Beauty Sheen Queen
      Nov 04, 2011 @ 22:28:09

      Thanks Jenny! It´s really great to hear perspectives on a wide variety of beauty, from different ages, countries and backgrounds…not just revolving around products we can buy to make ourselves “more beautiful” or an age that doesn´t last forever. I appreciate your coming by the blog :)…


  3. BLOGitse
    Jan 15, 2012 @ 11:35:50

    Hi Julia!
    Greetings from Helsinki, Finland!
    I already left a comment on Sonia’s post but I wanted to leave a comment here too: I love your paintings!
    You’re really talented plus your topic is great and unique.
    All the best in the future!


    • Beauty Sheen Queen
      Jan 15, 2012 @ 15:24:17

      Thanks so much for stopping by my blog. You’re the first Finnish visitor who’s written :). I’m really excited about this topic of how ideas and practices of beauty influence women as they get older. It’s quite interesting to hear similarities and differences due to age, societal norms and culture.


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