We all know that heavily Photoshopped images don’t accurately depict the human form, yet it’s still easy to become lulled into believing that idealized bodies are relatively uniform. Photographic subjects are too often deemed attractive or not, depending on seemingly arbitrary cultural ideologies. We see fine art and the media portray women as familiar hourglasses; men are often pictured with authoritative stances and broad shoulders. 

 

 

In her new series “Illusions of the Body,” the photographer Gracie Hagen sheds light on just how manipulated the images we consume can be. Using a diverse set of models of all shapes, Hagen shoots two images, one in which the subject is posed in a stance that makes him or her conventionally “attractive” (left) and one that is conventionally unflattering (right), highlighting what our culture might consider flaws or blemishes. In the process, the human body becomes a sculptural abstraction, and the imaginary line between “beautiful” and “unattractive” is erased. 

 

 

Hagen explains that the images are intended “to tackle the supposed norms of what we think our bodies are supposed to look like.” She elaborates, “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.” She keeps the camera at the same angle and uses the same lighting in both images. 

 

 

Hagen’s work takes the power from Photoshop and places it back in the hands of her subjects; they alone control the way they are perceived, though their deliberate movements and gestures. As Hagen puts it, “Celebrate your shapes, sizes & the odd contortions your body can get itself into. The human body is a weird & beautiful thing.”

 

Thanks to Flavorwire and Beautiful Decay

Images via Flavorwire

Tagged in: portraiture, Photography, nudes, gracie hagen, fashion, body positivity, beauty, art   

The opinions expressed on the BUST blog are those of the authors themselves and do not necessarily reflect the position of BUST Magazine or its staff.


blog comments powered by Disqus

Facebook_websiteTwitter_websitePinterest_websiteRSS_websiteTumblr_websiteIG_website

Search

Upcoming Events

Show Full Calendar

Shop The BUSTShop