Disorienting Nude Photos DGAF About Your Body Standards (NSFW)

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Warning: This post contains nudity and may not be appropriate for work. Photographer Julia SH is from Sweden, where, she explained to The Huffington Post, people tend to have a “frank, everyday view of nudity.” In her opinion, this likely stems from the kind of exposure a variety of body types receive in Swedish media, and the greater prevalence of nudity there in general. When she moved to the United States, however, Julia was surprised by the cultural anxiety surrounding nude bodies and the cloud of self-loathing that too often seemed to hover behind one’s naked form. “It seems like nudity is almost always placed in a sexual context, which creates the idea that were supposed to evaluate every naked body we see as a potential mate and against a particular, narrow set of sexual standards,” Julia said. “The notion that the value of our bodies should hinge on whether they conform to a single set of criteria is absurd, and can cause us to develop antagonistic relationships with our bodies where we view them as something to overcome rather than embrace.” Julia was working with a VFX designer, photographing a group of people with divergent body types. One particular model from the plus-size series caught her attention, and Julia eventually recruited her to star in a photo series all her own. From the start, Julia was impressed by the model’s extreme comfort in her own skin. While most models require coaxing or hand holding in the understandably uncomfortable task of posing nude, this particular subject freely embraced the project, holding pose after pose without issue. The resulting four photographs, titled together as “+”, offer up a surreal and unapologetic glimpse at the human body in all its weird, wrinkly, imperfect glory. By removing the face from the picture, Julia invites viewers to get lost in the strange configurations of flesh, removed from the usual process of categorization and judgment. Instead of a potential partner, Julia frames her subject as a sort of living work of art, full of infinite particularities that make a body beautiful. “My goal with the series,” Julia concluded, “was to challenge the idea of a single, acceptable way to look with our clothes off by portraying the models body like a sculpture, which was an attempt to prevent the viewer from making a sexual value judgment and shift the viewers focus to the shapes and textures that make the models body unique, fascinating and beautiful.” Yup, mission accomplished. Also on HuffPost: — This feed and its contents are the property of The Huffington Post, and use is subject to our terms. It may be used for personal consumption, but may not be distributed on a website.

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Daniel Harrison

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