Due to the COVD-19 global pandemic that reached U.S. headlines in March of 2020, people were required to isolate in their homes for extended periods of time. The era of partying, swimming, and mass-gathering was replaced with valuable time where one was confined to their own company. Since the effects of quarantining and social distancing have hosted new conversations about mental health awareness, this project focused on the use of meditation and self-portraiture to not only reflect on the formation of one’s identities, but it also made connections between those identities and their interactions with broader society.

In regards to the usage of meditation and self-portraiture as tools for introspection, I engaged in a 30-day challenge where each day entailed 30 minutes of meditation, followed by 10 minutes of journaling, then finished with creating a self-portrait concerning the topic focused on for that day. The matter of the day was picked from the list of 30 personality traits and past experiences that played key roles in building the person I am today. Rather than painting these portraits on canvas boards, 12x12in. mirrors were used to further push the narrative and experience of reflection, both for the creator and audience. Post-challenge, I chose three primary themes to analyze in terms of how American society engages with them: Black Womanhood, Queerness, and Gender Fluidity.

Although completing the 30-day challenge was taxing both physically and emotionally, it resulted in a more secure sense of self. Because I was already very aware of the type of person I am, but never did I dedicate a fixed amount of time devoted to exploring why or how. When analyzing the three primary themes of this project, many injustices committed against minority communities resurfaced, such as the history of the medical racism that many Black women are victim to. The goal of this project is to not only educate readers on these injustices, but to encourage them to engage in their own journey of self-reflection and mindfulness. As The Looking Glass is not replacement for therapy, but a reminder that healing and growing as an individual should be an average practice in one’s daily life, especially those who are often discriminated against in this country.


Mangubi, Marina


Art and Art History


African American Studies | Art Practice | Arts and Humanities | Fine Arts | Interdisciplinary Arts and Media | Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, and Transgender Studies | Painting | Social Justice


Meditation, Introspection, Self-Portrait, Portraiture, Art, Medical Racism, Healing, Solitude, Mindfulness, Intersectionality, Minorities

Publication Date


Degree Granted

Bachelor of Arts

Document Type

Senior Independent Study Thesis



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