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The Red Queen

The Red Queen painting by Leah Mariani

This painting considers the unrealistic expectations we place on women, particularly those in public office who are continually scrutinized for how they look and act. She must be attractive but not sexy, friendly but not available; strong but not aggressive, all at once. It’s a fine line to walk and the standard to which women are held, is much higher than that of their male counterparts. This queen is restricted in her actions, represented by the tight corset in which her true feelings (her heart) are contained. Her hands form the shape of a heart and their position makes reference to her sex, for which she is harshly judged.