photographing beauty in 2018
To kick off Beauty Week, we asked six bright young photographers to define what beauty means to them.
From the familiarity of a loved one to a unique characteristic of a stranger — a flaw, a scar, a freckle — or the imperfect charm of smudged lipstick on teeth, these photographs capture the complexity of beauty.
"This is Raymond, a dancer. Sometimes I meet up with strangers, and we talk a bit before I take their portrait and then we part ways. The more I appreciate others for who they are, let them talk about what they deeply care about, the more beautiful they become. The shine of someone passionate impresses me. I feel like there’s beauty in trusting yourself, and in caring."
"My sister is three years younger than me. Ever since I can remember, she has had a regal beauty hovering around her. But what is truly beautiful is to watch her grow up and love her figure, her blackness, her wit. She is hardening in this world — but even with so much set against her, she learns to unapologetically be. There’s beauty in trusting yourself."
"For me, mixing is so important. I love mixing races, nationalities, genders, humans with animals, living objects with non-living objects, also the negative and positive side of one person. Mixing blurs the outlines of each category. I call it new skin. I've been very influenced by Donna Haraway. For me, new skin is a key idea when it comes the new beauty."
"2018 is a crucial year for the expression of human beauty. With the internet allowing a democratic way of communicating between individuals, we are no longer in the dictatorship of the media telling us what beauty is and how we should aspire to imitate it. These pictures speak of the ownership of our own divine essence. Our bodies are all different in the most beautiful way. I chose to photograph these two individuals almost imitating a regal posture, because to me, these are the individuals that are owning up to their bodies in whatever form they come, and that is to me the people we should be inspired by. They feel beautiful because they are, because every ounce of her/him is full of it."
"Beauty is a feeling. Beauty is imperfect. It's about embracing diversity and individuality."
"In today's society with all it’s face fillers and Instagram filters, I really hope for the youth of today to see a stronger push away from this, celebrating uniqueness, individuality and the unconventional. To me beauty comes from within, it should never be considered only a surface appeal, it’s someone’s intellectualness, confidence, humor, creativeness and a combination of imperfections that appeal to me the most. Suzi is from a small town near where I grew up in Australia, where all the girls look and dress the same, to be able to escape the rhythm of that mindset and push the boundaries with her ever changing look combined with all of the qualities above, to me represents beauty in it’s truest form."
"To me beauty is confidence, to be confident and comfortable within your own skin is one of the most attractive things. We talk so much about beauty as a physical attribute but actually, and this sounds super corny, beauty comes from within and the earlier you can learn that the better. Be a beautiful friend, be kind, be thoughtful, at the end of the day it doesn’t matter how physically conventionally beautiful you are, your loved ones love you for your individuality not for the way in which you conform."
"This image is about boundless beauty. Mee Ling was my fashion journalism tutor when I was studying fashion design and branding, she is 54 years old right now. She inspired me a lot and I admire her a lot. She does whatever she likes, she goes to the gym, plays Judo, shares her experience with her students, lives in the real moment. For me beauty about always being yourself. It isn't a new trend for 2018, it's an attitude for your whole life."