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  • YELLOWS COLLAGE - Ashley Woodson Bailey
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"I’ve bought every single issue of Vogue, Harper’s Bazaar, and Elle since I was 12. Not once did I have a subscription because it always came later than when it was delivered to the store. I could never wait for those pages. I remember layouts of the streets of New York the most. It was 1985 when I started. Isabella Rosselini was staring at me from behind pink silk on the cover of Vogue. This is most likely where I found my obsession with pink. The following year was when I met Cindy Crawford. And by "meet" I mean found on the cover of Vogue. From there it was Paulina, Tatiana, Stephanie, Naomi, Christy, Claudia, Elle, Linda. And finally— Kate. At the time I didn’t realize I was molding my brain with unachievable beauty. I was simply in awe of these women and these magazines.

I left the collection at home while I was in college, but it grew, of course. I carried the magazines with me to Dallas, Houston, Manhattan, Brooklyn, back to Manhattan, back to Houston, Savannah, Atlanta, Austin, back to Atlanta, and finally to Jacksonville, Florida. Decades of holding on to these beautiful books. Until one day I started ripping out the pages that inspired me and throwing away the rest. I began combining Kate’s face with Naomi’s body, making my own paper dolls. I created a collection of collages with something I didn’t think I would ever give up.

Somehow, over time, I grew to finally like and accept myself, and I did not need to look elsewhere to find that approval. I still buy Vogue, Harper’s Bazaar, and Elle, but not every month. I don’t save them like I once did, but I do find myself getting lost in the pages of glamour and luxurious clothing and weight loss and plastic surgery and photoshop and photography and make-believe."