Weronika Perłowska

Anger Detracts from Her Beauty

‘Anger detracts from her beauty’ is a well-known Polish saying. I heard it often when I was a little girl, most often from my mother, who probably heard it from hers. This aphorism carries with it the admonition that anger makes a woman ugly. And, of course, ugliness is the very worst attribute that a woman can be branded with. The depiction of female anger as irrational, hysterical, and just plain ugly has a long tradition: from harpies, witches, and Medusa, to young girls inculcated to be polite and smiling, to memes of raging feminists and the so-called Resting Bitch Face syndrome. Although within the social context, female anger is becoming a tool for political change, in terms of individuals it remains taboo, something to be ashamed of, something to hide. In this project, I analyse the symbolism and stereotypes associated with female anger by setting them within the context of my own personal story of a rage suppressed, held in, and passed down from generation to generation in my family. The project combines photographs, objects, and video.

© Weronika Perłowska