Artist Of The Week: Jacqueline Secor

Jacqueline Secor, a former of member of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, began her Diversity of Nature series while battling Body Dysmorphia Disorder. Seeking to remove herself from the church and its narrow definition of perfection and womanhood, Jacqueline turned her personal project into a political endeavor: “Painting vulvae, focusing on details of women’s bodies, even the parts that are ‘supposed’ to be hidden, does sometimes feel like a small act of resistance ― a way of saying that women don’t need to hide, that we deserve a place, not just in the art world, but in every sector.”

Female bodies are constantly criticized, critiqued, and commented on, which can result in the most harmful judgement of all: our own. A couple years ago, my once manageable OCD spiraled into an uncontrollable and unexplainable Body Dysmorphic Disorder (BDD). I began to examine my body endlessly, but I could no longer recognize myself.

Every inch of my body seemed flawed, deserving of the harsh criticism that I heaped upon myself. The more I hated my body, the more worthless I felt, until I was no longer living my life, but serving a life sentence, imprisoned in my own body. I needed help and found it at a mental health facility. There I met a variety of smart and talented women who helped me escape from the cycle of judgement and hatred and find freedom.

This series creates a space free from comparisons, where each body is honored in all of its individuality. Choosing to portray vulvae as parts of nature is not about trying to make them “prettier” but about showing vulvae as they are: integral elements of the natural world we are a part of. The beauty, the strength, the very survival of nature depends on diversity. So too with humans.

Check out Jacqueline's Instagram for more.