Two decades of working as a commercial photographer in the beauty industry, I've continually witnessed the pressure both men and women, but particularly women, experience in order to conform to ever-changing beauty ideals perpetuated by industry and markets; ideals that subsequently become normative and are imposed by the dominant culture. Inspired by several artists who also interrogate these evolving themes, body image and ageing, I have been developing several photographic series that fall under the concept, "Beauty in the Post Truth Digital Age." We are constantly being bombarded with endless imagery and endless news feeds. World leaders are steadily referring to “Fake News”. We start questioning reality. And yet, we seek truth, whatever that means. I am intrigued by the desire young girls, sometimes as young as ten, have to airbrush their self-portraits or “selfies” with a myriad of filters before posting them on social media. I question individuals who are willing to have surgery upon surgery to fit into what we have been lead to believe is “perfect” or “beautiful”. It is urgent to rethink our beauty standards, ideals, and the editing of images to find solutions to ease our contemporary anxieties and re-situate the gaze not only of the beholder, but of the beholden.
It is time to have a dialogue.
This piece was shortlisted as part of the Via Arts Prize 2018 and it is available as an Artist Proof.
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