Beauty is in the eye of the beholder – it’s an age old saying but how often do we think about what it really means? Photographer and video artist, Kelsey Higley, is showing just how much the perceptions of beauty really differ across the world.
For her University project titled Manipulated, Higley took one photo of herself and digitally altered it 126 different ways to fit different beauty ideals. The video illustrates the effect media has on women’s opinions of their own bodies and what they should strive to look like.
“The video loop is a stop motion self-portrait created by combining roughly 126 digitally manipulated photos that create the illusion that I am molding my body like modeling clay. The video goes through several stages of “beauty” as I receive conflicting opinions on what true beauty is,” Higley writes in her artist’s statement.
“The work is a commentary on not only these unrealistic idealizations of beauty, but also the women’s desire to be attractive. The women in these photographs and video have an unnerving and unreal quality created by digital manipulation of the body shape, skin and hair, demonstrating how many women will go through great lengths (starving themselves, undergoing cosmetic plastic surgery, removing hair, etc.) to modify their natural body and achieve what society believes is beautiful.”
As this project goes viral we hope it will inspire more women to embrace their bodies as they are.
Words: Frances van Eeden