What Defines Beauty?


What Defines Beauty, wallpaper design by Sayeeda Bacchus

What Defines Beauty portrays humans who do not represent the beauty ideal in Western society. The beauty standards observed by contemporary society are distorted and influenced by the ideal image of beauty in media. The characters in What Defines Beauty are shown with 'imperfections', such as being overweight, aging, and having disabilities. Each character is cheerful, showing confidence in their outer appearance.

What Defines Beauty has been developed as a surface design for wallpaper to capture attention. Today, wallpaper patterns often have only a decorative purpose. Wallpapers contain patterns of flowers or animals, both presented as 'beautiful'. What Defines Beauty demonstrates that a product can have an added value for our culture. By using the wallpaper as an innovative communication tool, viewers are more aware of beauty standards and encouraged to think about the definition of beauty. What Defines Beauty indicates that we should not keep promoting the same beauty tropes. 

Finally, What Defines Beauty is a call to action. Let's dispose of the image of beauty society has given to us.


Sayeeda Bacchus graduated with a Bachelors of Design in Illustration from Willem de Kooning Academy in the Netherlands. During her studies she interned at Studio Nina Levett in Vienna where she specialized in surface design for household textiles. After her studies she moved to Paris to immerse in fashion textiles and freelance illustration. Her style is feminine, fresh, and contemporary. Inspired by cultures, nature, and patterns, Sayeeda creates hand-drawn visuals finalized by digital techniques. The designer is also focused on contemporary social topics in her work, such as beauty standards, diversity, and equality.

What Defines Beauty mid-install

Images courtesy of Sayeeda Bacchus