Surrey exhibit features submissions from teen girls aiming to bust the ‘Princess Myth’

Published: May 7, 2013
Pretty as a Peacock

Model Paramdeep Bhangu, 15, makeup artist Michele Miguel, 19, and photographer Joanne Wong, 17, collaborated to produce the photo Pretty as a Peacock, which is part of a new exhibit entitled The Princess Myth: Exploring South Asian Youth Identity and Wellness being presented at the Surrey Arts Centre in Surrey, B.C. Submitted photo

 

LARISSA CAHUTE
VANCOUVER DESI

Surrey’s South Asian girls no longer want to be invisible or trapped by stereotypes.

“(People) perceive South Asian girls keep to themselves, are very cultured, they shouldn’t be dressing in extreme westernized ways, they should be practising (their culture and religion),” said 17-year-old Sullivan Heights Secondary School student, Shauntal Padda. “(And) in the news you always hear South Asian girls aren’t strong women — if you look at the older generation, there’s violence or there’s a lot of controversy.”

But this is simply not the case for Surrey’s young South Asian women, so Padda, along with more than 30 other young South Asian female students from across the city, put together an art exhibit to combat this perception.

Their exhibit, The Princess Myth: Exploring South Asian Youth Identity and Wellness, is comprised of more than 60 pieces — photos, artwork and literary submissions — and officially opened at the Surrey Art Gallery Tuesday, and will be on display until August.

South Asian girls aged 14 to 19 submitted work that addresses topics like how they perceive themselves, or want to be perceived, or how others perceive them.

“The main focus was to show our strength because it’s never really heard about — that we’re strong South Asian women,” said Padda.

Padda submitted artwork along with a literary submission.

“My picture is very out of the ordinary than what I come across as,” explained Padda.

Her submission is a photo of her wearing jewels and dressed in dark colours.

“Beauty is a big thing in South Asian culture, you know, jewels and lavish clothing and colours,” she said. “(But) I’m not a person like that, (so) I’m pretty much trying to say that you shouldn’t judge a person by what they look like.”

Which, according to Padda, is a common problem in the community.

“Our human nature is to just judge by looking,” she said. “There’s a lot of negative things that we always hear, like in the news, or just a lot of stereotypes like a girl may be wearing something out of the ordinary, (so) they’re going to judge her by the way she looks.”

But it also goes the other way with the older generation, she said.

“South Asian culture in particular, it’s very traditional and there’s a lot of stereotypes like girls shouldn’t be wearing this or they shouldn’t be going out like that — they should be staying at home,” said Padda. “In our community we have to open our eyes that (young girls) are adapting to their westernized culture.”

“(But) just because I’m raised here doesn’t mean I’m going to forget (my roots)… I still want to know all that, but I want to be changing with our society.”

The Princess Myth is produced by the Arts Council of Surrey and will be on display until Aug. 12. An online presentation of the exhibit will be available at the end of June at youthvisions.ca

lcahute@theprovince.com
twitter.com/larissacahute


Princess Myth exhibit: Beauty is Skin Deep


Picture 1 of 4

Title: Beauty is Skin Deep Model: Vanessa Jaswal, 18 Photographer: Thomas Nelles, 18 Medium: Digital Art Institution: Emily Carr University, 1399 Johnston Street, Vancouver, BC, Canada Art Teacher: NA – Student Initiated Artwork Statement: Eloquently posed, the subject reveals a forbidden characteristic that she has harbored. Shown amongst four other depictions of female objectification in art (Top right: Pablo Picasso’s Les Demoiselles d'Avignon, Johannes Vermeer’s Girl With a Pearl Earring, Andy Warhol’s Marilyn and Annie Liebovitz’s controversial maternity photograph of Demi Moore), the prominent Eurocentric gaze is criticized. Notorious for romanticizing foreign material and depicting Euro-hybridity, Beauty is Skin Deep illustrates a genuine unraveling of culture. Instead of women being “pieces of meat,” the subject instead wears “her meat” and exercises it to her advantage. However, pulling back this cover, she exposes her true nature and the key to her martyrdom.


Tags: , ,





Featured

Merv Bayda and Kal Dosanjh

Ask One Surrey’s Merv Bayda and Kal Dosanjh how they will fight crime in the city

  VANCOUVER DESI Crime is the number one issue in Surrey municipal elections. Vancouver Desi will chat with two cops — Merv Bayda and Kal…
Continue Reading »

WORLD WAR I

Surrey resident says the involvement of Sikh soldiers in WWI has not been taught in schools

KRISTI ALEXANDRA SURREY NOW SURREY — Coming up on the hundredth anniversary of the First World War this Remembrance Day, images of poppies, Canadian maple…
Continue Reading »

California-India-Sikh massacre

India’s 1984 Sikh massacre arises as issue in contested California congressional race

FENIT NIRAPPIL THE ASSOCIATED PRESS SACRAMENTO, Calif. – Anger around a 30-year-old religious clash in India that left thousands dead has crept into one of…
Continue Reading »

LOCAL NEWS

Nepal closes popular trekking route where 38 died in snowstorms after new climbers set out

By Binaj Gurubacharya THE ASSOCIATED PRESS KATMANDU, Nepal – Nepalese officials closed a section of a popular Himalayan trekking route Sunday after rescuers, overwhelmed with…
Continue Reading »

Today in History – Oct. 19

Advance THE CANADIAN PRESS Today in History for Oct. 19: On this date: In 1216, King John of England died after consuming what was described…
Continue Reading »

Merv Bayda and Kal Dosanjh

Ask One Surrey’s Merv Bayda and Kal Dosanjh how they will fight crime in the city

  VANCOUVER DESI Crime is the number one issue in Surrey municipal elections. Vancouver Desi will chat with two cops — Merv Bayda and Kal…
Continue Reading »

Don't Miss...

MINOR ATACKED

False confession leads police to arrest new suspect in sexual assault of 9-year-old Surrey girl

FRANK LUBA VANCOUVER DESI A man who confessed to the sexual assault of a nine-year-old girl in Surrey has been released and a 28-year-old man…
Continue Reading »

Dilwali Fest

Diwali Fest kicks off with IndiGlam fashion-fusion show (w/ video)

LARISSA CAHUTE VANCOUVER DESI It was a classic mother-daughter argument that propelled Surrey’s Raji Khaira into a career of fashion design. Khaira, 25, grew up…
Continue Reading »

Vancouver Desi

Canada Place caught the eye of man who builds models in chalk (w/gallery)

LARISSA CAHUTE VANCOUVER DESI When Jagdeep Singh Bihal moved to Vancouver from India two years ago and did some sightseeing around the city,  it was…
Continue Reading »

SURREY-VANCOUVER-MUMBAI

Diwali organizer inspired by memories of Mumbai revelry

LARISSA CAHUTE VANCOUVER DESI Vancouver’s Rohit Chokhani can still recall his childhood in Mumbai when Indian streets would light up with fireworks and life would…
Continue Reading »

SURREY-PIRATE RADIO

Surrey’s unlicensed Radio India to cease broadcasting in 120 days

PETER O’NEIL POSTMEDIA NEWS GATINEAU, Que. — One of B.C.’s “Pirate Radio” broadcasters boasted earlier this month of his powerful political connections, a vast public…
Continue Reading »


Bollywood Latest

Priyanka Chopra

Gallery: 20 Bollywood celebrities in their best and worst avatars

VANCOUVER DESI Every Bollywood star has come under fire for their style choices at  some point in their careers. Here we’ve taken a quick look…
Continue Reading »

reality TV

Himesh Reshammiya to record songs with reality show ‘India’s Raw Star’ contestants

IANS Mumbai – Composer Himesh Reshammiya, who made an appearance on the reality TV show “India’s Raw Star” as a guest mentor, was so moved…
Continue Reading »

BOLLYWOOD

Bollywood role came without any effort: Jennifer Winget

SUBHASH K. JHA IANS  Mumbai – Like many of her peers from television, Jennifer Winget is ready to move to the big screen. However, unlike…
Continue Reading »