“Progress Portraits” by Kannetha Brown is an exploration of the importance of nude portraiture in the journey towards equality for women. In this ongoing collaborative project, models are interviewed about how their self-image and relationships with their bodies have grown over time, and are asked to pose nude/semi-nude in places relative to their growth.
“Progress Portraits” reclaims the harmful history and media treatment surrounding women’s portraiture, to celebrate the female form versus portray it as an object of debate and trauma.
In this series with Jai Pereira, she expressed that female experience is an individual one, especially for women of color. She explained that love for her body fluctuates but she accepts herself as a work in progress. The reasoning for this was her constant exposure to society’s ideal woman– never seeing dolls or girls in the media that looked like her.
Second-guessing herself and questioning her worth, Jai spends time alone to practice self-love and grounding. As a biracial, woman of color herself, Brown related to this and wanted to celebrate Jai’s body, sexuality, and progress by depicting her time reflecting and embracing.