From Victorian corsetry to present day plastic surgeries, altering the body to suit our vision of the ideal form has long been a popular pastime.  The female body in particular often receives the most scrutiny in regards to style and form. Women are constantly pushed, prodded, stuffed, and squeezed into unnatural shapes so that they might be considered desirable and sexy. My work deals largely with popular concepts of femininity and sexuality. Using the language of the body, curves, and skin, my pieces investigate the enduring relationship between standards of beauty and femininity.


         Growing up as an overweight child, I was constantly told I was not beautiful. From explicit catcalls to the implicit inability to fit into the trendy clothes my friends were wearing, there was never a moment where I felt confident in my appearance.  ‘Pretty’, a concept I longed to embody, was always for other girls. In my body of work I explore the social connotations of the female form. My works are a means of empowerment for women such as myself that do not meet our cultural standards of beauty. My jewelry and costumes take the curves and dimples that our society deems inferior and turns them into badges of courage. Using pearls and silk as ornate embellishments, I transform my materials into glamorous lumps, pockmarks, and rolls of flesh. My pieces range from silly to sexy and often use humor and exaggeration to encourage the viewer to reconsider their preconceptions of the beautiful and the grotesque.

Large and In Charge

​Jewelry and Craft

ÉMILIE MULCAHEY