This photo alone of Petra Collins on Into the Gloss is enough to make me want to get to know the 21-year-old artist. Not only is she wearing denim overalls, but she also appears to not be wearing anything under them. AND THAT HAIR! If you listen carefully, you can hear my own curls cheering from all the way over here. And, not that you could tell from the picture, but she hasn’t shaved in five years.
The Canadian-born artist started her photography career “at the age of puberty,” eventually collaborating with friend Tavi Gevinson. As a teenager, her art was a way to get in touch with herself, her body and feminism in general. Her first solo show was titled “Discharge,” and illustrated “changed prospective as it relates to the different stages of female development in a hypersexualized beauty-obsessed society.”
She talks about the complications of the word “feminist”: “I remember in my first year of university, my teacher was like, ‘Who in this class would call themselves a feminist?’ and people were scared to put their hands up. I, too, hesitated, then I was like, ‘What am I doing?’”
Collins talks about the book that encouraged her to quit shaving: “I was just really fascinated about what happens when we go through puberty, and why once we do, we try to go back to pre-pubescence.”
And, of course, she talks about beauty: “I approach beauty the same way I approach clothing—I think people should do whatever to themselves to make them feel more comfortable in their skin.”
If you want to know more about Collin’s thoughts on feminism, skincare, makeup, body image and more, check out the rest of the interview on Into the Gloss.
Photo via Into the Gloss, shot by Emily Weiss.