LIFE

This Artist Is Creating Beauty Out Of Stretch Marks And Other Taboos

22/07/2017 3:30 AM AEST | Updated 22/07/2017 3:30 AM AEST

One Spanish artist is setting out to prove that just because society deems something is inappropriate doesn't make it any less beautiful.

Zinteta (whose real name is Cinta Tort Cartró) is a 21-year-old from just outside Barcelona, and she's using rainbow hues to flaunt conventions, and create gorgeous pictures of women's stretch marks, period stains and nipples in the process, reports Teen Vogue.

#estrías 💜💖❤💛💚💙 Cada unx de nosotrxs es diferente y, a la vez, cada cuerpo es de una forma u otra y tiene su propia esencia y energía. Hay muchos tipos de cuerpos, igual que hay muchos tipos de estrías. De eso me dí sobre todo cuenta el día que hice estas producciones. Pintando a Yacine, a Mònica y a Roser observé detalladamente su piel, la delicadeza que había en ella y, a la vez, la belleza y la esencia que estas escondían. Hay personas con más o menos estrías, con estrías muy gruesas, menos, o más o menos marcadas, y en esto, en la diversidad, hay la riqueza. Las estrías de Yacine me llamaron mucho la atención, pequeñitas, poco palpables a primera vista y verticales, era la aventura de descifrar todo lo que ellas escondían. Todos los cuerpos tienen (más o menos) manchas, pelos, pecas, estrías, curvas, rectas, heridas, arrugas... y todos son igual de válidos. Ya es hora de que empezemos a amar el nuestro porque, al fin y al cabo, esta es nuestra herramienta de comunicación con el mundo. Y si no nos gusta la herramienta que utilizamos para ello, dificilmente podremos sentirnos libres. Una vez más: quererse es un acto revolucionario. 💜

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Zinteta spoke to Yahoo Beauty about her work, noting, "It all started as a form of expression, but it quickly turned into social commentary of the male-dominated culture we live in."

The collection comes under the hashtag #manchoynomedoyasco, which roughly translates to "I stain myself and it does not gross me out."

A similar art project was carried out in Spain in 2014 under a similar name, when the group Sangre Menstrual took to the streets in white jeans streaked with period stains to make political statements about the natural female process.

Looking at Zinteta's brightly coloured photos, it's easy to forget that these particular images might be considered disgusting (in the case of period stains) or unattractive (in the case of stretch marks) in other contexts, and that appears to be exactly what she's aiming for.

#freethenipple 💜❤💜

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She's also very specifically distributing this art on Instagram, which has censored such topics in the past.

The #freethenipple movement, based on Instagram's policy of taking down photos of (specifically) women's nipples, has launched plenty of subversive protests, like @thenippleacttt's account. The artist behind it, Camila Gonzalez Corea, takes user-submitted pictures of nipples and makes them into "art," which is apparently allowed.

Similarly, Rupi Kaur created a firestorm online when she posted a shot of a menstruating woman in 2015, complete with a stain we're all much too familiar with. Instagram took the picture down after it was flagged, and only reinstated when Kaur noted that this is exactly the problem with the site, and by extension, society's view of women.

thank you @instagram for providing me with the exact response my work was created to critique. you deleted a photo of a woman who is fully covered and menstruating stating that it goes against community guidelines when your guidelines outline that it is nothing but acceptable. the girl is fully clothed. the photo is mine. it is not attacking a certain group. nor is it spam. and because it does not break those guidelines i will repost it again. i will not apologize for not feeding the ego and pride of misogynist society that will have my body in an underwear but not be okay with a small leak. when your pages are filled with countless photos/accounts where women (so many who are underage) are objectified. pornified. and treated less than human. thank you. ⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀ ⠀ ⠀⠀⠀⠀ ⠀⠀⠀⠀ ⠀ ⠀⠀⠀ ⠀ this image is a part of my photoseries project for my visual rhetoric course. you can view the full series at rupikaur.com the photos were shot by myself and @prabhkaur1 (and no. the blood. is not real.) ⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀ ⠀ ⠀⠀⠀⠀ ⠀⠀⠀⠀ ⠀ i bleed each month to help make humankind a possibility. my womb is home to the divine. a source of life for our species. whether i choose to create or not. but very few times it is seen that way. in older civilizations this blood was considered holy. in some it still is. but a majority of people. societies. and communities shun this natural process. some are more comfortable with the pornification of women. the sexualization of women. the violence and degradation of women than this. they cannot be bothered to express their disgust about all that. but will be angered and bothered by this. we menstruate and they see it as dirty. attention seeking. sick. a burden. as if this process is less natural than breathing. as if it is not a bridge between this universe and the last. as if this process is not love. labour. life. selfless and strikingly beautiful.

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While there's no question there's an aspect of shock value to these forms of art, they're also doing exactly what the medium is supposed to — make you stop in your tracks, and in the best of circumstances, make you question whether the world looks the way you think it does.

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