Love Letter from Jessi
“Since we all came from a women, got our name from a women, and our game from a women. I wonder why we take from women, why we rape our women, do we hate our women? – Tupac Shakur
I am a woman lover. I love women. All women. And not just in a feminist, girl power kind of way, in a tell the “bigger” tired looking girl working at Starbucks she has beautiful eyes because even if just for a second, she will change the way she feels about her self, kind of way. I enjoy making women feel good about themselves, even if in small subtle ways. What if all women practiced something like this? What if we all empowered each other to think positively about our own bodies? What if we didn’t need men to make us feel beautiful?
This year, I wanted my paintings to make a statement. I chose to embark on a campaign entitled “Women Are Perfect! (If You Let Them)”. The idea stemmed from watching my brother’s wife survive her pregnancy, her body morphing into a perfect vessel to further not only the future generations of my family, but of the world. In awe, I remember I kept saying to my mother “women are so perfect”. I’m the baby of the family and know nothing about kids or pregnancies or breast-feeding. I watched her sacrifice her body for those 9 months, and now that Diego is born, he STILL cannot survive without her, for it is the very milk that comes from her body that nurtures him to grow. We were made perfect.
Every woman I paint is unique. She’s thick or 8 colors, or pregnant. Naked, brown, black, or telling the world a message that’s important to her. Every woman deserves the chance to be represented in the art world. This project began as a message to men telling them that they need to check themselves and allow women to be their true perfect selves. After all, “you can’t walk in a straight line if the road is crooked.” But after painting for 14 hours a day and talking to different women about my project, it became apparent that my message needed to be directed towards women, towards ourselves.
I believe that everything I’m saying about women here is true, not revolutionary or controversial in any way. But it is. People have a problem with the words “women are perfect”. People believe the word perfect has a negative connotation, which stems from deeper oppression in itself. Whenever I tell a woman I love she is perfect, it is hard for her to take that compliment. She merely bows her head, shrugs and says, “No no. No I’m not.”
What if every women thought they were perfect? What if every woman walked down the street accepting and loving whoever they are, instead of doubting their thighs and overthinking if they should’ve eaten that cupcake for lunch? How far would we get as a race then?
We need to believe in ourselves as women. We need to think about what it is that is keeping us from believing and owning the fact that WE ARE PERFECT. We were made this way, for a reason.
My show “Better Than Perfect”, the kick off to the “Women Are Perfect! (If You Let Them)” Campaign, will be up at Betti Ono Gallery in Oakland for Women’s History Month in March. Come out and celebrate our perfection.
For first generation Colombian American graffiti artist, Jessica Sabogal, art serves as a haven, a tribute, a creative outlet of adoration and exaltation for women with stories often untold. Her pieces possess a vision of female identity that is revolutionary and powerful, brave and beautiful. By utilizing a spray can, she aims to color her canvas by unraveling stories she once heard, lived, struggled, and loved.