Beccy Powell is a 21 year-old artist, originally from Leeds and currently living in London. She caught Bearded London’s attention by adorning lovely ladies with beards. We just had to ask her some questions and increase our facial awareness…
Hey Becky! Tell us a little about your project.
My project was initially based around the stereotypes of women and textiles, so naturally I was interested to know what stereotypes were synonymous with men and, inevitably, I decided on the beard.
I started with the idea of knitting or crocheting a beard, and asking women to wear it as a facial adornment; whilst I was working on this I came across the 100 beards book/ exhibition. My initial thought was ‘why can’t I do this with women?’.
I have also been working on other bearded shoots, self-portraits and drawings.
Are you a fan of beards on men?
I am most definitely a fan of a man with a beard. I find myself obsessing over beards. I do find bearded men attractive, however I think my beard obsession is much more than that.
Are you making a comment on the unrealistic ideals of smoothness for women in your work?
I find the idea of a ‘perfect woman’ something quite difficult to deal with. Society expects that we are, to a certain extent, hairless. I think it’s our own personal choice. I recently read about a beautiful lady, who shows off a full beard, and she claims that she has never felt sexier than she does now!
There’s been some suggestion that the bearded trend is a response to fourth wave feminism. How much do you think bodily hair is intertwined with the idea of sexiness in both genders?
I do think that having a beard is associated with being a ‘real man’. As an artist, I find it interesting to play on these ideas. Being hairy is considered sexy on a man, but why not a woman? In my opinion I find any woman with the confidence to have body hair just as sexy as women who choose not to have it. I have had some difficulty finding women to get involved in my project as many have refused due to being scared of what they will look like in a beard or what people will say, which is sad because I feel both men and women in modern culture strive for comfort yet there is still so much pressure through appearance.
I do feel that beards are a huge trend at the moment and I feel women have responded to this by being more open in growing body hair. I think women have responded to men and beards as opposed to the other way around.
How can we get involved in your project?
Contact me via my blog!
Let us know if you’re a fan of Beccy’s work! Tweet @BeardedLondon.