I used to cover my mirrors
An exhibit featuring works by Sophia Hanna
TW: Discussion of body image/eating disorders
Between the ages of 10 and 20 years, I secretly covered my mirrors with sheets so I would not have to look at my body. I took my first “before” photo of my stomach at age thirteen. From age ten, I experienced disordered eating symptoms, and my dysmorphia peaked while developing a full-blown eating disorder at 18, when it took me six months to even notice that I had gained 70 pounds. Getting help in therapy began a journey of acceptance and peace, which I continue daily through making art of my body, being naked often, selfcare, and noticing changes with curiosity and admiration.
As I produced these works, I did not turn away from my body and instead spent hours, days, and months capturing its forms and nuances, celebrating and deconstructing what are commonly defined as "unflattering" and "ugly" angles and details. I experimented with abstraction and realism, painting on custom die-cut panels and learning to make a rug by hand, all to create an intimate self portrait of my journey with body dysmorphia. I hope that my vulnerability inspires you to reflect on your relationship with your own body, and to be a part of addressing these difficult issues in your community.
Note: “Body dysmorphia” is when a person can’t stop thinking about perceived flaws in their appearance, triggering a warped sense of the reality of their appearance.
My sincerest thanks for supporting the making of this show, to:
The Pikes Peak Arts Council for awarding me one of their MicroGrants.
The Cultural Office of the Pikes Peak Region (COPPER) for awarding me an Arts Vision Grant. I am honored to be part of Arts Vision 2030, the 10-year cultural plan for the Pikes Peak region, supported by the Pikes Peak Fund for the Arts at the Pikes Peak Community Foundation, with support from Relevant Project Studio.