Finding a woman in Western culture with great body image can be a bit like searching for The Holy Grail.
Even the most “perfect” of women-professional models, actresses, and other people who earn a living from their looks- suffer from insecurities just like the rest of us mere mortals.
Los Angeles based photographer Stephanie Diani has captured those insecurities in a series of photos as part of a project called The Tribe of Impossible Imperfection. Diani, who is no stranger to photographing female bodies and recently did a series on aging burlesque legends, features a vast number of women ranging in different ages and sizes.
Before the photo session began, Diani asked each subject what—if anything—they would change about their bodies if given the choice. A plastic surgeon who was standing by then drew pre-surgical lines on their bodies with a Sharpie, and Diani captured the images.
The end result is a striking series of images. They not only send a message about the unrealistic expectations that society places on women, but they also show—despite the insecurities present—just how beautiful each subject is in her own way.
(It’s also worth noting that none of the subjects appear to be satisfied with their breasts which makes me wonder if that isn’t a direct result of the fact that many of the breasts that appear in media images are surgically altered.)
When I look at these photos, I am reminded that I am not alone in obsessing over my perceived imperfections. In fact, I am very normal in that regard.
The almost tribal-like markings of the surgeon’s lines are a powerful reminder that as women, we are all part of that tribe.
Perhaps some day, it will be a tribe where this collective anxiety over looking “good enough” will be a thing of the past.
To see the rest of the series and more of Stephanie Diani’s work, click here.
Love elephant and want to go steady?
Editor: Bryonie Wise