Singer-songwriter, Model, and New Friend: Olivia Kurofsky

Dressed in two almost completely thrifted outfits, Olivia showed off her iconic brows and intense smolder. For this post, we decided to go back to the roots of the blog and focus on a shoot, while also including an article about Olivia. Olivia Kurofsky is a local Seattleite with a passion for singing and interest in modeling. She is not signed to any particular agency (although we have no doubts she totally could be) and explained that she models just for fun. She wrote and co-produced her first EP at the age of 15, and at 17 years old she performed at venues including the Showbox, Vera Project, Chop Suey, The Moore, Town Hall, and the Royal Room. She is working to release a full-length album this fall to showcase her vast development as a songwriter and vocalist. Olivia has also been a part of various projects such as films about local artists, fashion blogs, her school’s house band, and teen artist showcases. She hopes to land a marketing/social media internship for KEXP this summer to supplement her retail job and, of course, the infamous “struggling artist” income.

Olivia started off by saying, “I cannot, and do not intend to represent/speak for all girls. When discussing how a society favors a specific type of person it is necessary to identify the narrative being highlighted to tell that story in order to accurately analyze that bias.” She explained to us how much of a privilege it is for her to, generally, fit into what America considers as beautiful, being a skinny abled body white female. She then dove deeper into her thoughts and experiences surrounding beauty standards and body positivity.

She noted that as a girl in high school, she feels deeply conditioned to be critical of her own body. She recounted times back in elementary school, and middle school when she said she, “actively hated my body”. She also remembered times when she would search online for clothes that would hide her stomach, and how to avoid any situations regarding swimsuits. She even went as far as buying appetite suppressants in 7th grade. It wasn’t only those times, however, it also came down to being insecure about the hair on her arms and legs. With some included humor she mentioned, “bless my Greek genes #browsonfleek”. Being able to talk about tough times in the past, she was also able to add a humorous side, which reflects her growth in self-confidence and lightheartedness.

Today she remarks how she’s lucky enough to have always had a healthy body growing up, so the fact that she hated her body is, “deeply troubling and reflective of what we value girls and women for.” She openly told us that she was so blinded by what others thought about her that she didn’t see that her values as a person were boiled down to how appealing other people found her. She says, “Today I often think ‘well okay I shave my legs because I want to, I think it looks good and I like how smooth it feels’, but when I really think about it, I like the way it looks because it’s “feminine”, and I’m worried whoever will be feeling my legs will think it’s unattractive.” She explained how this shows a relationship between beauty and the value of women. When you fit an unrealistic standard then you are automatically considered beautiful, which means you are now attractive for men. “Women are not for consumption, and beauty is not how appealing you’re deemed by someone else. By no means does this mean subscribing to the so-called standards is a negative thing; it becomes negative when it works in conjunction with the mass portrayal of women as sex objects with no agency of their own, to only please men,” she says.

The idea of body positivity to Olivia means, “loving and appreciating your body for its function, purpose, and inherit artful and beautiful form.” She brought up how nudity plays a role in how the female body is viewed. While she strongly believes that the female body is inherently beautiful, she also agrees that there is a certain context for nudity, but in today’s society, the female body tends to be overly sexualized. She adds, “#freethenip”.

While Olivia has made lots of progress loving and accepting her body she says, “there are still so many critiques, pressures, and limitations regarding appearance.” She is particularly aware of this when she is modeling. She described to us that she always thinks about how to make her stomach look flatter, butt look bigger, and face look the best it can. She is mindful of the fact that photos that are taken of her will be posted on social media and gets worried if others will consider her ugly. “In this way, social media can be so harmful to a person’s journey to self-love.” With that in mind, she is also inspired by unconventional models who post on platforms such as Instagram. This led her to the conclusion that like most things, social media has both positives and negatives and it’s all about balance.

In a more reflective tone, Olivia said that she has grown to really love her appearance and is so grateful and appreciative of her body and all of its abilities. She importantly noted, “as valid as my struggle was/is, I saw so much representation of women who look like me on T.V. and other media. I think a key reason that I learned to love my appearance is that I could literally see girls and women who look like me on a daily basis succeeding and being praised for their looks.” In the future, Olivia would like to see the cycle of eurocentric features being the only traits praised as beautiful be broken. She remarked that this country only deeming white, thin, physically able, straight hair women as worthy of beauty adds to “the oppressive systems in which this country operates.” She believes beauty standards are “incredibly toxic” and ends the interview by saying she has become very desensitized to the issue as a whole because of how prominent the “praise of relative thinness and shame of anything other” is.

Follow her on IG @oliviakurofsky to keep up with her rad tunes, upcoming website/blog, modeling, and pets!

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