Creation Date



image preview


archival inkjet print


Dimensions: 16 x 20 inches

This piece is part of a larger work entitled Self-Validation.

Artist Statement

“The parts of yourself that you’re not yet comfortable with don’t need to be sexualized or overlooked to be loved.”

During my first long-term relationship, I told my then-partner of an insecurity of mine. Instead of taking this opportunity to be supportive, he took it upon himself to sexualize it as a means of acceptance. This just made me feel worse. The only way this freakish part of myself could be loved was through fetishizing it? This reinforced the idea that there were parts of me that needed to be overlooked or rationalized before I could be loved. Women are raised, not to see themselves through their own eyes, but through the eyes of men. So, when insecurities arise as a product of this, women are told,

“Oh, that’s okay, someone will be into that.”

aka, “Someone will want to fuck you because of/in spite of that.”,

“Someone will be able to overlook that part of you to love you.”

My work is comprised of 12 digitally captured photographs that have been split up into 6 diptychs. The first image in each diptych is a portrait of a woman in her home. I utilize natural light, to keep the space itself unaltered by staged lighting. I have chosen to photograph the women in their homes because it establishes an intimacy unique to being in their space. This gives the viewer a familiar insight into the subject’s home, a place that is typically private and only to be entered when invited. The second image is a close-up image that represents a different insecurity for each subject, offering the viewer a more intimate understanding of the subjects’ thoughts and fears.

The work is accompanied by an audio element that is to be played in the space that the work is being viewed. It is a composite of multiple clips—all quotes from the subjects themselves. The recordings detail specific experiences that have led to the complex feelings these women have towards their insecurities. The audio has been edited together, rearranging the individual stories to create one larger cohesive story. This was done in an attempt to retain anonymity, and consequently, accessibility to the experiences for other women viewing the work. This was done in an effort to influence these women to rethink their own insecurities, and seek validation for them from within, instead of seeking validation through the toxic ways women are conditioned to believe are their only choice.

As the artist, I am assisting the subject in showing their insecurities in a new and positive light, one that is entirely under their control, and on their terms. This is in order to subvert the male gaze, and redefine these insecurities completely independent of it.


© Anja Monique Crocker, 2016.

Exhibit Images


photography, portrait, feminist