20 Inches is a part of my senior thesis project revolving around anorexia and its effect on the body.
According to the National Eating Disorder Association (NEDA), around 20 million women and 10 million men will experience an eating disorder at some point in their life— I was one of those 20 million women. In this series of artworks, I focus on the certain body parts that I would check daily in my routine to make sure I was the thinnest I could possibly be. I would make sure my stomach was slim, my legs didn’t touch, my spine visible, veins protruding from my hands, and my chest bones poking through. I want to give a voice to the monster that dominated my life as well as this contemporary societal issue that doesn’t get enough of a voice. For my materials, I used graphite to draw the body parts and then I used a black watercolor wash in the background. The wash in the background is my depiction of my eating disorder, I always saw it as this black cloud following me and gripping on to me when it was at its strongest. My thesis is the plead for help that I couldn’t voice on my own, that now I am voicing through my artwork. I hope to reach more young girls in college through my thesis to seek help or understand that it does get better. Being in recovery for two years now, I can look back and reflect on what went wrong and what drove me to this suffering of body and mind.
Pencil and Watercolor
Matthew Garcia, MFA