A sketch by Fariya Nasir

Fariya Nasir is a student who has a passion for art and activism. She is a dedicated and hardworking member here at A Teen Perspective who shared her incredible art piece, “Infinite Beauty”, with me. I absolutely love this piece and the meaning behind it. Read down below to learn more about how Fariya expresses her opinion on beauty standards and how that inspired her art work!

“Growing up I loved to draw, but it wasn’t until grade 7 when I truly started working harder to get better at the art I would create. I would always perry about whether it was good enough and whether or not it would be good enough to hand in for a project. I remember every time I was assigned a project in writing or art I would have several copies. I would end up starting over and over again just because I didn’t like how my art turned out. I would even end up redoing projects the night before”.

“For many of us when we’re given a blank canvas to work with we feel more open to creating something of our own preference and choice. Personally, I felt restricted; as much as I had loved to create my own pieces, I also enjoyed having specific guidelines to follow when creating my art pieces. So, when my art teacher gave our class a literal blank canvas and told us to create anything which has some sort of meaning behind it, I was stuck. I remember sitting for a solid week staring at the blank piece and not having a single clue on what to create. After a whole week of erasing pencil and spending all day searching for inspiration, I came up with an idea that inspired me.”

“Growing up there were many beauty standards and typical stereotypes entering high school. I remember girls would start wearing makeup and would be automatically teased but if you didn’t wear makeup you would also not act as a “normal girl” did. This was a huge motive behind my piece, but still, I wanted to add something that truly meant something personal. I had come up with the idea to add a piece of me.

I was born in Pakistan, and when I moved to Canada, I was introduced to lots of more diversity, at my first elementary school there were so many different cultures I met friends from all over the world and got to share similar experiences. In grade 5 I moved to another city, here I was automatically put into a specific group and classified as a brown girl who should be friends with only brown kids. This was a big difference for me, I was always close to everyone but now I was being composed into a group. It was merely something that was passed as a joke at my school and similarly many of my other coloured friends were put in similar stereotypes. I later realized as I grew older and educated myself that this was a serious issue that more people should be informed about. With this thought, I had finally figured out what I wanted to create. Beauty in all colours, shapes, and sizes. I wanted to push the idea that there is no specific race or colour that defines beauty and that each individual represents their own regardless of who they are, thus my art was created; a representation of beauty in all colours.” 

At present, my personal and professional experiences have allowed me to grow and diversify my network. Additionally, by being exposed to various cultures, people, and ethnicities, I have a newfound respect and understanding of beauty.” 

I believe that this piece by Fariya is very impactful and important for young audiences to see; Fariya displays the message of “beauty comes in all colours, shapes and sizes” beautifully and I hope that her art inspires you as it did to me. 

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