Illusions of the Body was made to tackle the supposed norms of what we think our bodies are supposed to look like. Most of us realize that the media displays the only the prettiest photos of people, yet we compare ourselves to those images. 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.
Within the series I tried get a range of body types, ethnicities & genders to show how everyone is a different shape & size; there is no “normal”. Each photo was taken with the same lighting & the same angle.
Celebrate your shapes, sizes & the odd contortions your body can get itself into. The human body is a weird & beautiful thing.
Photographer: Gracie Hagen
How should we refer to you? He or she?
A lot of my close friends say ‘she’. But a lot of people say ‘he’ too and I am not offended by that; when you are in this position, living this life inbetween genders, you can’t be too offended by anything. Either way is fine, but I prefer “she”.
I have never been really good at playing a man! I can do it very easily for photoshoots, but it’s different from acting as a man on a daily basis. I really don’t think it is that different to be one or the other, but capitalist society does draw quite a big line that divides the genders, so these differences seem more exaggerated than they naturally are. Boys are expected to be a lot less emotional, tougher and I guess, somehow rough, where girls have a bit more freedom to express themselves physically, but less freedom mentally and overall because we live in a patriarchal society.
Yes. We are born with a gender identity, as well as a sexual orientation. Most people are not aware of their gender identity because they look in the mirror and if they are female they see a female body; they aren’t even aware. They are more aware of their sexual orientation, in other words who they find attractive. But when the physical part and the mental part don’t coincide or the match is much more complicated, that is when you become aware of gender identity. A lot of scientists point out the fact that it is something we are born with. Of course, later on, we definitely learn how to behave in the way society dictates, but there is a biological factor to it as well. I think that men definitely have as much pressure to behave like men, as women have to behave like women.
Very true. Although it’s equally as true that when I read an account of a life in which everyone is inexplicably mean to a faultless narrator, I start to wonder about how well the narrator actually perceives the world about them…
As usual, Neil is right. There’s a point where the common denominator is you.