Made Especially For You

"Made Especially For You," addresses the devaluation of care work and the layers of societal expectations and the subconscious pressures that affect mothers. This series reflects on the systemic erosion of communal support, where capitalism has replaced the village, leaving mothers isolated in a competitive landscape. 

The phrase “Made Especially for you by Mommy” is sourced from the text embroidered onto the tags my grandmother stitched into the back of the items of clothing she handmade for her five children. Reproducing this text in my work and using textile mediums is a way to both honor her labor and critique and question the roles and acts of care we perform as women, and to remind the viewer that much of our society is functioning on the shoulders of unpaid, unseen, and gendered labor.  

Embracing a unified color palette, this show also challenges the curated facade of motherhood perpetuated by social media influencers like Ballerina Farm, who, after winning the Mrs. American beauty pageant while pregnant with her 7th baby, competed for Mrs. World just 2 weeks after birthing her 8th child. The work references cultural trends like “The Beige Mom”, a sanitized, neutral-tinted Instagram grid that obscures the raw realities of maternal experience. The incorporation of gold symbolizes the weight of societal pressures to be glamorous and successful, and also references “liquid gold” and the conversations and judgment around mother’s choices in their personal breastfeeding journeys. 

The bed becomes a visual metaphor for the maternal relationship with rest—a precious yet elusive commodity. It embodies the exhaustion and isolation inherent in the postpartum experience, underscored by a societal framework that demands mothers excel in all spheres without adequate support, reproductive rights, or recognition. Through repetitive gestures of care work performed on the landscape of the bed, I relate the paradox of never truly being alone yet grappling with intense loneliness within the confines of motherhood. 

"Made Especially For You" confronts the systemic failings of a society that imposes unrealistic expectations on women, fragmenting their identities into competing roles of caregiver, professional, and beauty ideal. In the absence of a supportive village and equitable structures, the pursuit of rest, community and support become radical acts of defiance. 

Using Format