Inspirational Woman: Angelica Borges
Merriam-Webster’s dictionary defines the word confidence as being a feeling or consciousness of one’s powers or of reliance on one’s circumstances; the quality or state of being certain, etc. These words define Angelica Borges. With her beautiful and wild, almost snow white blonde hair and bold red lip, her beauty, energy, and radiance shines through when around her, and she knows it. She is confidence in the flesh, but according to her, she hasn’t always been that way.
Angelica, a Jersey girl of Cuban and Puerto Rican descent, grew up with body image issues that followed her into adulthood. Instead of wallowing in the pain of being bullied and mocked for her weight, she expressed that pain through art. At 28 years old, her paintings and drawings of women’s bodies have been featured in art galleries in and around New York City and on her Instagram account called imperfection_art. led her current venture, painting and drawing real and raw images of women’s bodies.
Angelica Borges is one of the Realist Woman’s inspirational women. In this interview, she talks about the event that inspired her passion for art, why she considers her work as a feminist statement and encourages women to see the beauty within themselves, imperfections and all.
The Realist Woman: You are an artist whose work has been showcased in art galleries and on your Instagram account called Imperfection_Art. Your art consists of a realistic portrait of women’s bodies. When did you first realize you had a passion for the arts?
Angelica Borges: My passion for art started after a breakup. For some reason I found myself painting weird figures and playing with color. Then I dabbed into charcoal drawings and regular pencil drawing. I struggled with my self-image and I started drawing bodies of women. I never stopped.
The Realist Woman: What made you decide to focus on the many body types and shapes of women?
Angelica Borges: I have always been a big girl and my body has been such a struggle to accept. I was told I was too big, lose weight and the list goes on. So I felt that body image shaming had to end. I literally hated myself for not looking like the skinny girl next to me. So drawing women of all shapes and sizes made me happy. I am capturing our biggest insecurities and it looks beautiful! We don’t like that back fat, cellulite on our legs, that one roll that comes out when you sit down, but it’s our body. We go through hell as women and we should embrace every single curve, bump, mark that we have and own it.
The Realist Woman: How did you address and/or overcome your body image issues?
Angelica Borges: This is ongoing. I can wake up one day and tell myself “DAMNNN GIRLL you look goooood! Okkurt.” Then the next day, “Girl chill out on those wings and fries.” But I have learned that I am human. I cannot compare myself to the next person. We all have our own inner battles, and I had to stop myself from feeling I needed to look like a “Skinny Minnie.” So I have been working on loving my skin, literally embracing my curves, belly, thighs and everything else. I recently started to accept myself. I had to get out of this state of mind that has been making me be the woman I didn’t want to be. So with lots of self-love, inner healing and putting myself first, I have been able to overcome my insecurities. I have been so positive and owning my body that I get such a huge positive response from all different types of women almost every day. How I dress my body and how I carry myself is something that is constantly being mentioned. It’s a learning process. Listen to your body and soul. It will come all together.
The Realist Woman: Who or what inspires you to express yourself through your art?
Angelica Borges: Besides myself, all the women in my life. From women in my family to my beautiful friends. Especially those who have kids. Seeing how they are dealing with the aftermath of giving birth, it’s beautiful to see how they are embracing their new bodies.
The Realist Woman: Do you express yourself in other ways, i.e. fashion, beauty, etc.?
Angelica Borges: FASHION! You need to know how to dress your body. I think that’s the biggest issue we bigger women struggle with. Women need to know how to dress their body and own it. I wasn’t into fashion as much as I am now. Honestly, I learned a lot by following plus size models on Instagram. There are so many women who know how to dress and they are killing it. I get inspired every day with their fashion choices and seeing how creative you can be. I like to feel good about myself, and dressing up changes your mood entirely and it’s a great way to start your day. Looking good helps you to feel good.
The Realist Woman: As women, having a support system is extremely important to our lives. It’s vital that we have people around us who sincerely support us in pursuing our dreams and goals. Who in your life is that support system for you?
Angelica Borges: My sisters, my friends, and my fiancé. Without their constant positive feedback or just being there when I need them to be, I honestly wouldn’t know what I would do. I have given up on myself so many times, and they never did. I am beyond grateful for their positive words and encouragement to continue on my journey. I have my own support group and they are my paparazzi, counselor, hype man and everything in between. Love them.
The Realist Woman: How did you develop your artistry skills?
Angelica Borges: I have always been an artist. It took for my heart to get broken to gain my mojo back. I would do a drawing or a painting a day. I would spend hours on a piece. I also did research on different body types. I follow so many women on social media, and I look at how they pose, where there’s a curve or a bump. I look at all the little details that we don’t really recognize until we look at ourselves in the mirror then realize “oh shoot I didn’t know my body curved like that.” It took many years to get to where I am now. I went through different phases of art choices, but I am happy where I am right now.
The Realist Woman: What are your goals for yourself and your art? Partnering up with campaigns on body image? Owning your own art gallery to display your work and the works of others?
Angelica Borges: I would love to work with a campaign on body image. Owning an art gallery would be amazing as well. I honestly just want my work to go home to a person who can see themselves in the art piece they choose and love it. These are my girls and showcasing them in other art shows would be great. Attending more all women, empowerment gatherings and showcasing my work there is always great exposure. I never really thought about my next step with my art. I do it for myself and I just enjoy creating something that can make the next woman look at my work and see herself in. I will continue participating in Art Shows and women’s events until something new comes up.
The Realist Woman: Why is it important for women to see themselves in your art?
Angelica Borges: It’s important for women to see themselves in my art because we forget we don’t have to look like a Kardashian or Victoria’s Secret model. You are YOU. My art resembles your everyday woman. I want you to see yourself in one of my pieces and say “damn I look good.” I always draw my girls in their bras and panties because that’s when we are most vulnerable. We like to cover our skin with layers of clothes and hide behind that oversized hoodie or sweats. Don’t be afraid to love yourself. Everyone’s body is different and we have our own battles that we have overcome, so love yourself more. You only have one body and you should love it and appreciate it. If you don’t like it, then change it, but don’t hate yourself for it. We are strong and beautiful and don’t let anyone tell you otherwise.
The Realist Woman: What artist are you most inspired by?
Angelica Borges: There are so many different artists out here and I honestly don’t have a favorite. I follow many artists from around the world and I get inspired by each one of them. I get inspired by plus-size models as well. I love their posture and how they pose. There is so much art in this world, I really can’t choose just one artist.
The Realist Woman: Do you perceive your art to be, at least partly, a feminist statement? And if so, what message are you trying to convey through your art?
Angelica Borges: My art is definitely a feminist statement. The message I’m trying to get across is that we as women we go through a lot of shit. We are strong and we don’t need a company, brand, or a man to tell us how we have to look. For years, society has this image on how a woman should look, how a woman should act do, and what a woman should do. It’s 2018 and we need to break free from images that are not our own. It gets to a point where we beat ourselves up because we are not living up to what society says we should be. So with my art, I like to show how beautifully imperfect we all are. You can be big, small, wide, black or white and to me, you’re beautiful. I would encourage others to be happy in their own skin in whatever you do, be that working as an artist, musician, or a CEO. You are killing it and how you look is not a factor to the accomplishments you have achieved. So don’t beat yourself up. You’re beautiful and you are killing it as a woman!
The Realist Woman: What do you want people to know about you?
Angelica Borges: I am a young Latina and I am still figuring out myself and my body. Every day, I am listening to my body and making better decisions for it because I need to. I love myself enough to care about it. I wasn’t always as positive as I am right now. It took me YEARS to get to where I am. I still have my days where I cry and beat myself up, but I am working on that. Thankfully it’s not as much as it used to be. I am my own cheerleader, so I am always giving myself compliments because sometimes I don’t have my support system around so I have to do it. My work is just a reflection of my own journey. I appreciate myself and other women around me. Growing up I was always picked on for my weight and that scared me for a long time. Now that is just a memory and it made me the person I am now. I love it. Everyone goes through hard times and it makes them the person they are. Being picked on for my weight was a blessing. Sounds weird but I appreciate all the girls who reminded me I was fat. Thanks ladies. Half of them follow me on social media and they compliment me now. Big ol’ me, isn’t that ironic? Other than that, I am happy with my life. Living, breathing, growing and killing it with all the other beautiful women out there.