The common term for “toxic person” is someone who causes a lot of conflict, stress, and emotional pain in your life. A toxic person could be a friend, a romantic partner, or even a family member. I use the term “toxic” in my work differently than you may have heard before by applying it to our relationship with ourselves. I decided to do this because I noticed how I was self-sabotaging myself with hurtful thoughts and ideas, the same way toxic people do to others. I decided to find volunteers and interview them about their self-destructive traits and according to each story, I created a visual representation of toxic traits as parasites that are living inside of us; and that evolved to the ridiculous point where those traits have started to grow their own body parts.
I decided to add additional body parts to the human body because I wanted to explore the visual idea of are we still human if we have those parasitic thoughts about ourselves? Are we still human when these thoughts affect us to the overwhelming point when it changes our perceptions of ourselves? Are we still human when these thoughts start forming their own bodies? Hearing my models’ stories made me understand that I am not alone in dealing with self-doubts. And the most important thing is to be able to see these destructive thoughts and remove them before they consume our whole body and mind. Visualizing these problems and talking to my models was helpful for us to discover our self-destructive habits and reflect on them.