Defying eurocentric beauty standards one portrait at a time

by Taylor Barron

The Native American Longhouse Eena Haws hosts photo gallery walk.

On Tuesday March 5, the NAL showcased a collection of portraits featuring diverse backgrounds, races and ethnicities within the Oregon State community.

NAL is a cultural center on the Oregon State campus, that represents indigenous people of the Americas and Pacific Islands, and strives to deconstruct colonial border impact, while also honoring the sovereignty of tribes.

Roman Cohen and Sierra Joyner, Student Success Peer Facilitators for the NAL, worked together to organize this event. Those who were interested in taking part in the project could direct message them and tell either Cohen or Joyner their story.

“We decided to have portraits of each person and have a story that they wrote, and what it means to them to be of their identity and to defy eurocentric beauty,” said Cohen, the photographer for the event. Cohen went on to describe eurocentric beauty as the idea or belief of what a person should look like in today’s society.

“I’m hoping this will be empowering to people of color, and folks who don’t have their beauty standards often seen in media today,” Joyner said regarding the gallery walk.

Jasmine Meraz, a fourth year human development and family studies major, took part in the event by writing about Latina Mexicana Michoacan and Veracruz roots, and how society depicts Mexican and Latinx identity. Meraz wrote about how she has always been taught to love her skin, dark eyes, and dark hair.

“We do live in a European standard society of what we are supposed to look like, and I think this is a good point to make across because we only think of beauty standards in a certain way and I wanted to see how other people feel about this stereotype,” Meraz said. 


For those interested in visiting the Native American Longhouse Eena Haws, they are located at 311 SW 26th St. Checkout the NAL website where you can read more about their history, upcoming events, and resources provided for the OSU community.

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