You Are Not Your Own by Kyra Kennedy

Issue 116

“Do you not know that your bodies are temples of the Holy Spirit, who is in you, whom you have received from God? You are not your own; you were bought at a price. Therefore honor God with your bodies.”
- 1 Corinthians 6:19-20

I grew up in a deeply Catholic household. Sunday school, and church every weekend, but the only thing that rivaled my knowledge of Jesus, was my knowledge of how to look beautiful. My mother, a former Boston Ballet soloist, knew how to make us look polished regardless of what was happening in our lives. If you look the part, you get the part, and nobody really cares what is underneath. I learned that religion and beauty were intrinsically tied together. You make yourself beautiful for God and your peers, and you keep the suffering to yourself.

You Are Not Your Own, is a project that has helped me understand the cyclical nature of idealized physical beauty. In my household, the matriarchs passed down rituals of beauty that were created to make a perfect outer shell. As I grew older, I learned how fragile these facades were, I saw how easy it was for the magic to fade. If you draw on a face that is not your own you put a barrier between the true inner self, and the world that wants to break it down. I have seen the vulnerability underneath the foundation, and I like to focus my work where those cracks form.

Kyra Kennedy lives and works in Santa Fe, New Mexico.  
To view more of Kyra’s work, please visit her website.

 The Mask

The Mask

 
 Stigmata

Stigmata

 
 Neutrogena Acne Light Mask

Neutrogena Acne Light Mask

 
04. Kennedy - Grandmother.jpg
 
 Pageant Foundation vs. Real Skin

Pageant Foundation vs. Real Skin

 
 Mirror, Mother

Mirror, Mother

 
 Barbie Glowing

Barbie Glowing

 
 Emily

Emily

 
 Gabrielle Sunbathing

Gabrielle Sunbathing

 
 Self Portrait with Gold Masks

Self Portrait with Gold Masks

 
 Self Portrait After Smiling for One Hour

Self Portrait After Smiling for One Hour

 
 Gabrielle, Emily and Kelly

Gabrielle, Emily and Kelly

 
 Easter Tablecloth

Easter Tablecloth

 
 Gabrielle

Gabrielle

 
 Pageant Girls

Pageant Girls

 
 Sisters

Sisters

 
 Pageant Ages 0-40

Pageant Ages 0-40

 
 Mom's Hand

Mom's Hand

 
 Crest White Strips

Crest White Strips