"Orange." is the debut single released by Gabriella Bavaro on February 4th, 2019. It is a single that explores domestic violence and sexual expectations within young relationships, and strikes as personal and critical tones. The project consisted of visual interpretation, interviews with other women on their perspectives, and the integration of musical effects to generate the essentials of a moment and experience with the listener. Composed by Gabriella Bavaro and Ben Rowley, produced by Precision Sound NYC, Alex Sterling.
The album artwork, featured above, was photographed by Shawn Garrett in January of 2019. It encapsulates both fear and triumph, horror and beauty within the woman.
Models: (Top to bottom) Essi Novelli, Ashley Rose Nicholas, Gabriella Bavaro, and Lauren Fasano
Perspectives from the cast:
"Being a woman in this day an age has proved to be a constant struggle. As a woman who has been purely sexualized and used multiple times due to her size and shape, I have a few thoughts. I am a plus size woman. I have PCOS, or poly cystic ovary syndrome; a hormonal disease that causes enlarged ovaries with small cysts on the outer edges. This condition makes gaining weight easy and losing weight hard. However, the places that much of the weight has gathered are my breasts, hips, and my butt. This, paired with my naive mind has warranted “relationships” where I’ve been used, being stared at as a young (14 years old) girl, an experience on the streets of NYC that I’ll never forget, and looks from my male friends that make me uncomfortable. My current boyfriend, who I love and adore, tells me I should be confident because my body is curvy and beautiful, yet I buy clothes that are too big, and use them to hide my insecurities and the things that have gotten me in trouble. Sometimes, I believe it’s my fault for the things that have happened; desperate to feel validated by some boy who wanted my body and not me and because of this, I used to feel (and to an extent still do sometimes) that my personality comes after my body. It takes time to find yourself beautiful, inside and out. It’s something that will take me my entire lifetime. When I didn’t feel beautiful, it was so easy to let a man tell me so I could feel validated, but in return he could use me. As a girl who deals with mental illness, body issues, and a severe lack of confidence, I used to let people hurt me and sexualize me. They broke me down, and sometimes I feel like I will never be the same, but change is good. I am seventeen, and I will build myself back up. There is more to me than the shape of my body; I am not an object, and I will never acknowledge those who treat me like one again. Self love will come, but it will not come from the men who tell me I am beautiful through my tears during disgusting forced interaction; it will come from me."
"Being a woman means being seen as the most beautiful and evil creature. No matter what, somehow our society finds a way to blame the woman, take her rights, and pay her less than her title-sharing male coworkers. All while making money off of her body, calling her a whore when she's expressing her sexuality, and treating her like an object to be "smashed". I like that in the year 2019 more people don't care about gender. We are dissolving the glass ceiling so that we can all call ourselves equal human beings with different bodies. We all are spiritual beings of the same nature -- the only tangible thing to determine sex is biology. I see myself as a woman-bodied being who does whatever they want to do and looks however they want to look because I want to, not because someone told me to. Everything we're "supposed to do" is a sterotype that we subscribe to because we "fit" in a certain box. To hell with that! Be free, be you, and don't let anybody tell you that you can't!"
Ashley Rose Nicholas:
“My identity always included the arts, my innermost thoughts and feelings, and intellectual capability. Growing up my parents nurtured my soul and always reminded me that no matter what I’m a human and I belong in any space no matter my color or gender. I didn’t realize I was a black woman until 5th grade. That was the very first time I was excluded because I was the darkest girl on the cheer squad. “The speck of pepper in the salt,” they would say.
After that I struggled finding my identity. Not only was I female but I was black and couldn’t find any representation of a woman with my skin tone and hair to look up to.
Now that I’m a 21 year old I see why I needed that experience. Not knowing who I was pushed me to be a representative for other black little girls with no one to look up to. Representation is so important and I’m extremely happy that in 2019 we’re getting better and better with putting women of color in places of government, school systems, television, and so on. It’s my goal to be able to expand across large platforms and reach as many black girls as possible to let them know... you’re beautiful, you’re smart, and you can do anything you set your mind to.”