My work is an exploration of how women transform their bodies in order to meet societal standards of beauty and fashion. I'm interested in how women of the Victorian era utilized underpinnings, then at the height of exaggeration and extreme, to alter the shape of their form. Underpinnings are garments–bustles, crinolines, and panniers–that were used to achieve the ideal body shape. My goal is to dissect these historical examples and see how they compare to contemporary conceptions of beauty. The evolution of furniture draws parallels between historical garments and upholstered chairs; the fashion of underpinnings is essentially wearable furniture. My process sources materials that women use to manipulate themselves in order to achieve what society would find aesthetically beautiful and socially valuable. These underpinnings acted as a home, a place of comfort, but falsely represent women’s bodies through exaggeration. Women began having a new experience in which their bodies were no longer accepted in domestic settings. Chairs became a problem, the new baggage carried by the body was cumbersome, creating an uncomfortable situation, rather than somewhere to relax. A new disdain is felt for chairs, the cushion that was once soothing is now pushing in all the wrong places. Our bodies are precious and private, but throughout history and to this day, women have used structures that unknowingly harm the body, weighing it down in unnatural ways, all in the name of beauty. Interested in exploring these ideas of perceived beauty, I'm also drawn to the idea of what makes something seem feminine versus grotesque and unnatural. Using scavenged palm leaves, combined with upholstery materials, chair parts, and natural fibers, my MFA body of work evokes feminine aesthetics paired with natural materiality, while paralleling forms of underpinnings and representations of the body.