The Patriarchy: I prefer women with long hair. Me: Hold my beer.

Mickayla Pence

Lewisburg, WV, USA

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As a woman living in America, I am not as free as this country alludes. The American Dream has become a nightmare for minorities, oppressed groups, and everyone in between. Since the overturning of Roe V Wade, I have made it my mission to stand up for equality in women’s rights and access to necessary health care. The patriarchy in the US government has destroyed millions of lives with their heinous decision making over the years. I refuse to sit idly by watching it unravel while millions of women suffer – my voice will not be silenced and my expression flows freely through my art. I empathize greatly with the women in Iran who have it far worse and my fighting support for them is ever increasing. At the beginning of 2023 I shaved my head and the reactions received from men has been a mixed lot of patronizing attitudes and comments like, “I prefer women with long hair.” This statement making piece uses my real hair suspended in resin as an act of rebellion against the patriarchy.

I make mixed media jewelry deep in the Appalachian Mountain region. My jewelry collections range widely using collaging methods with magazine clippings, photographs, real pressed flowers, butterfly wings, gemstones, precious metals, hair, and eco resin. No two pieces are ever alike and I pride myself in making truly one-of-a-kind pieces.

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