"I am heartened to see Cher's depictions of the full figured woman; elevating her in some instances to the level of angel with the symbolic use of wings. She reminds us that out of ‘horror’ we are able to over come, triumph and soar. This is not just the story of the full bodied woman. It is the story of many women with dreams, family, love and contemplation. Its life.
Cher’s brush depict Sarah as beautiful and vibrant. Her palette is bold and striking, in some ways jubilant, so instinctively one knows that this is a celebration. It is a respectful celebration of the Khoi Khoi woman. The bright colours echo those of the Kadooment festival where the objectification of ‘Sarah’ reaches an epitome. How many of us would behave the same way if we knew the life of horror Sarah Baartman lived and not by choice?
Call me Sarah too. A lot of women in the Barbados identify with the genetic legacy of Sarah Baartman. I always feel reflected in the women I see in my daily travels. Its makes the thick, fluffy and big bosty woman feel comfortable. Less and less we feel like the other, a rare spectacle to be put on show. Where Sarah Baartman was from she was normal.
We live a contradiction however because western media and programming projects an image of beauty that does not reflect the voluptuous woman, annual Miss Universe competition reaffirm this. So for many it’s a take s giant leap of self love to love our more curveous selves. Social media has enables us with the individual voice to promote our own ideals and define ourselves and this has encourage more of us women to believe in our own unique beauty and not buy into stereotypical ideals. We can create our own. We define our own standard of beauty and Cher reinforces her love of self and those that reflect her in her work.
However, culturally Sarah is revered. She is still sung about in sons, our tuk bands seem incomplete without the muddah sally and our radio announcers still speak about the present day Sarah’s ability to stop traffic. With so many divergent threads of thought and acceptance, it is truly refreshing to see Cher adding her view to the discussion with paintings of her in the most positive light."
Artist - Barbados