Life as a Blond
b&w silver gelatin print
11 x 14 in.
Hollywood images urge girls to be desirable to men. Yet a sexy woman is labeled a whore. At age 13, I was raped at knifepoint. My life was stolen from my own hands to be shaped by society’s double standards. The police did not help. Instead they asked “What were you wearing?” Implying that I “asked for it”. Two weeks later I spotted the rapist in Washington Square Park. Instead of arresting the felon, the cop questioned, “Do you have a witness?” The rapist went free, probably to rape again. The authorities do not protect women; rather they scar and humiliate us.
Was I finally safe when I married? No! At the hands of a violent man, I became a victim of spousal abuse because ‘a woman needs to know who’s the boss’. It wasn’t until my mother died that I realized my life is precious.
At 38 I began a self-healing process through artistic expression. A satirical vehicle, the “Barbie Series” exposes the duplicity of roles and values created for women. We desperately want to be the object of desire. Thus we are consumed and become the images of sick society. And why? Because women need love.
© Nancie Eichengreen-Reyes