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@redavart

The make-up artist turning boobs into surreal and political beauty looks


TextDominic Cadogan

Russian-based creative @mary_dav is fighting Instagram’s censorship of female nipples via her account @redavart

There’s no shortage of amazing artists on Instagram pushing the boundaries of hair and make-up and transforming their whole heads or bodies into stunning works of art. 

Russian-based make-up artist and body painter Maria Davydova – AKA @mary_dav – is running with this idea, transforming her breasts into surreal, political, and stunning beauty looks on her Instagram account @redavart, which she launched last May. 

“I was inspired by several things,” Davydova tells Dazed Beauty on how the account started. “A creative crisis and desire to go beyond make-up on the face, the aesthetic of female breasts which I have admired the beauty of since I was a child, and the naturalness and uniqueness of women.” 

Scrolling through the account, you see the artist’s boobs transformed into looks that celebrate Keith Haring, or highlight the nipples as targets for slut shaming. Elsewhere, more surreal holey looks trigger people suffering with trypophobia and use petals to create a new kind of flower. 

While being beautiful to look at, the works of art also tackle socio-political issues like misogyny, censorship of women’s bodies, and slut shaming. “Through my art I sympathise with people in trouble and protest against inequality and injustices,” the make-up artist says. “I want to fight the censorship on Instagram by exposing naked breasts with uncovered nipples.” 

Unsurprisingly, this fight isn’t without its struggles and Davydova has had several of her works deleted from the platform since she launched it. “As a creator this is very painful because I put my soul and time into every work,” she says. “My goal is not to chase a large audience but I would like it to grow and find new viewers, but this is difficult because of Instagram’s policy against the demonstration of naked bodies. I hope in the future, the platform’s leadership with revise these rules and learn to separate art from pornography.” 

Despite these challenges, the make-up artist says the account’s small fanbase shares her enthusiasm for relaxing censorship on Instagram so that her and other artists aren’t penalised. “I want viewers to understand that there are many different female forms and beauty features,” she explains. “Ultimately I want male and female nipples in photos to be treated equally – everything should be subject to censorship or it all becomes available for free viewing.” 

While she navigates the platform’s strict censorship rules, Davydova still wants to grow the account and create looks on boobs other than her own. “I want to spotlight models of different ages, races, and parameters of beauty in order to show people that even if we have complexes we should accept how we are and love ourselves.”

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