Spring 2024

Exhibit Images



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Thesis Committee Chair

Lily Lee, MFA

Thesis Committee Members

Anika Smulovitz, MFA

Laurie Blakeslee, MFA

Artist's Statement

Cosmetic investigates how the beauty and cosmetic industries affect women and non-human animals. These explorations expose the pressure and expectations placed on female bodies while delving into how this industry exploits non-human animals used to create zooceuticals. Through various interdisciplinary installations, I challenge Western beauty standards, expose how women’s bodies are represented in media, dissect the aesthetic function of makeup, uncover animal ingredients used in creating cosmetic products, and create a platform for women to share their personal accounts with makeup and society-promoted beauty ideals. These installations work together to reveal the complexity of cosmetics and how a multi-billion dollar industry can impact lives in both invasive and intimate ways. By strategically employing marketing and retail merchandising strategies, I critically examine the selling tactics that are weaponized against women to create body insecurity. The sale of cosmetics relies on the notion that the human body is naturally imperfect and necessitates correction. These imperfections are socially constructed fabrications and continue to be created and exploited for monetary gain at the expense of the consumer. To combat this, I subvert the promoted beauty standards by creating wearable devices that ostensibly comply with these societal standards, yet they are intentionally impractical, conveying discomfort and artificiality. Through investigating various facets of cosmetics and beauty, I hold a mirror up to this industry that glorifies superficial aesthetics for financial profit, all while subjugating women and non-human animals.

Hanna_Alyse_2024_Cosmetic Conversations_Audio.mp3 (165596 kB)
Cosmetic Conversations - audio file


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Fine Arts Commons