Skin Deep is a personal exploration of self and beauty.
We live in a society that worships perfect physical beauty, the Playboy or Vogue Magazine type of beauty of the perfect pouty lip, the perky and full breast floating magically above a tiny Barbie waist, balanced on long perfectly shaved legs and a slightly rounded ass sporting a size zero mini dress. A “plus-sized” model is a size 12 and eating disorders in young girls are at record highs. Diet solutions are broadcast multiple times an hour on any show targeted to women. Advertisements for the local gym all feature perfect women in tiny outfits who do not sweat.
As a fat woman, I am commonly perceived to be an unattractive person by these American media standards of beauty. I don’t wear a size 12, I don’t shave, and as a 59-year old post menopausal woman, perky is never used to describe my breasts. I have roundness, fullness, and hugeness. When I turn the camera on myself, I confront these standards for beauty versus the reality before the lens and question the validity of either.
The photographic work I create celebrates color, energy, and intensity. While creating them, I often wish I could be immersed in that color. By combining my self- figure studies with my vibrant color choices, I get to bathe myself vicariously in the riot of color and movement and, at the same time, confront the standards of beauty established by mainstream media and my own esteem. Does this unacceptable body become less so as it morphs into a brilliant landscape? Does color enhance or improve the imperfections, as they become new shapes unidentifiable as human? Is beauty, truly, only skin deep?