These photos by Gracie Hagen eloquently express the illusions of the body that are reflected back at us from the innumerable media images that barrage us.
My own nude portrait work was always focused on portraying a sense of the reality of the person I was photographing. Avoiding the expected stereotypical glamor poses that people initially tend to fall into. Poses that depersonalize them. And obviously avoiding the very unflattering images that don’t express their reality but rather a fleeting moment the camera can capture. (Unless, like Hagen’s images they are done purposefully.)
Hagen says: This series was made to tackle the supposed norms of what we think our bodies are supposed to look like. Most of us realize that the media displays only the prettiest photos of people, yet we compare ourselves to those images. We never get to see those photos juxtaposed against a picture of that same person looking unflattering. That contrast would help a lot of body image issues we as a culture have.
Imagery in the media is an illusion built upon lighting, angles & photoshop. People can look extremely attractive under the right circumstances & two seconds later transform into something completely different.
Within the series I tried to get a range of body types, ethnicities & genders to show how everyone is a different shape & size; there is no “normal”. Each photo was taken with the same lighting & the same angle.
Celebrate your shapes, sizes & the odd contortions your body can get itself into. The human body is a weird & beautiful thing.
Note: This series is product of passion on the part of the artist & the willingness of whoever decides participate. If there seems to be certain body types, genders, ethnicities etc that are underrepresented, it is because that type of person has not chosen to be apart of it. I have not intentionally excluded anyone.
This series is ongoing, so if you are among the underrepresented, or just want to be involved, please contact me.
I had a hard time making choices among the photographs. You really need to see the whole series in full size to appreciate what she’s doing.
Thanks to Alan Bostick for pointing me at Violet Blue’s post.