The Seven Feminine Archetypes | Scenography inspired by Aspects of Feminine

Background and Inspiration

Identity Politics jumps out as one of the hottest topics of the 21st century. Questions about what it means to be a Man or a Woman. With the likes of Jordan Peterson representing the pathos of being a man in the 21st century and Malala Yousafzai taking a bullet for the same rights as a man, the debate on equality and the acceptance of personal choice in matters of sexuality is one of the mainstays of both urban and rural discourse.

With a growing acceptance of acquired identity, one of the greatest questions today is what it means to be a Man, Woman or a Non-binary person. With the rise of 'They' and 'Them' as admissible epicene (gender neutral) pronouns, what is the future of traditional gender roles and social mores? The Sociological developments popping at the quarter of this century need to be addressed. A study of the evolution of new social norms.

Tolerance and Acceptance are the buzzwords of the GenZ population. Right to Speech and the Freedom of Self expression are considered strongly mandatory humanitarian necessities.

Personally influenced deeply by the Vedic/ancient Indian concept of the Divine feminine in her many forms, this was an exercise in the expression of femininity in various forms rather than the singular idea of the mother.

In Vedic tradition the divine feminine has at least ten different expressions and forms. Called Dus MahaVidya, denoting the 10 great wisdoms, understanding of the divine feminine is given great emphasis. It is considered a journey to the infinite eternal. A systematic study of the ten forms brings awareness and unlimited wisdom from a cosmic source. The reverence and respect given to the understanding of the feminine being several different forms inspires my study of the modern expressions of femininity. It helps redefine and strengthen the discourse on modern day feminism.

One of the foremost forms of the divine feminine is Kali, the dark goddess, famous for her terrifying form. The acceptance of this disheveled form, naked with her tongue out, nature incarnate, encourages the acceptance of woman as an empowered creature uncontrolled by the rules of man. Untamed and wild, her beauty is untethered, unapologetic and unafraid.

Influenced by my own tradition and culture, I am led to explore modern definitions of femininity with reference to older established types

I have tried to explore my thoughts through Scenographic Representations of the various archetypes proposed by Carl Jung.

The Seven Feminine Archetypes proposed by Carl Jung are as follows:

1) The Child or Gamine

2) The Maiden or Ingenue

3) The Huntress or Rebel

4) The Mother or Lady

5) The Queen or Empress

6) The Lover or Seductress

7) The Mystic or Enigma


My Writing and Visual Art is an exploration of what is means to be a woman. The Set, Lighting, Make-up, Styling, Photography etc are aesthetic interpretations of what the idea represents in essence.

Some Interesting Personlities from Pop Culture. Clockwise from left: Legally Blonde: The typical bubblegum pink 'Barbie' defined as ultra feminine with childlike, girlish characteristics. Marilyn Monroe with her Girlish Charm defined everything that served as the foil to tradition masculine roles. Elizabeth Taylor as Cleopatra, the Self-assured Empress. Elizabeth Taylor as the freedom loving Huntress or 'Gypsy'. Margot Robbie as the brazen, devoted Lover called Harley Quinn. Milla Jovovich as Alice in the Resident Evil Franchise


Everything was shot inside my 6'x 6' studio at home. I love colour and bright vivid colours are a special favorite. I lined floodlights with tinted cellophane to get the desired effect. The ongoing two-tone colour trend speaks volumes about the mood and adds personality and depth to the scene. The styling the and make up was decided upon by mind-mapping symbols and silhouettes pertaining to the voice and feel of the particular theme. An association with natural elements with the seven colours of the rainbow helped with building the content and the mood of the shots.

The background was hand made and executed over a period of days. The process of experimenting with colours and props for storytelling was fun. Colours, crafts and textures were combined to form a mixed media narrative.


This project has been both an intellectual and aesthetic pursuit. At a fundamental level it helped me explore the very essence of womanhood. The is and is-nots. One of the interesting results was the presentation of my own biases and stereotypes. Turning up the volume of every type to express its essence in some ways exaggerates the reality. The truth is that nothing exists in isolation and that their may be an overlap of more than one type in an individual.

One of the fun things I got to do was to apprehend the upcoming runway trends. For example, my mind was drawn to thigh high stockings with metallic sequins to represent the rebel. Incidentally, the Autumn-Winter Collection 2021 by Balenciaga this year showed a a lot of metallic shine on the leg. Space buns also made a weird comeback after a period of 20 years. The handcrafted pink flowers in the Maiden shoot and the Butterfly theme for the Mother shoot somehow resonates with Rahul Mishra's latest collection shown at Paris. Predicting upcoming trends has always been a habit with me and I hope the looks I have created might inspire some to interpret them in their own style.

All in all, the scenography and photography are an ancillary to what I would like to discuss about each type. Hope its an enjoyable, informative and thought provoking read for Art aficionados and academic readers alike.

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