Keith Lovegrove- Pageant: The beauty contest.

This work looks at the behind the scenes at all varieties of pageants, he has collected work from all around to create this book. It is almost his the good, the bad and the ugly. He shows us the world we hear so much about but don’t really see as much as we think we do. From the tears to the backstage horrors.

He shows us the world of vanity and backwards morals an opinions. But leads it into the alternative pageants, the best lady boy or drag queen!

So focusing on the whole book and looking at every one’s different definitions of idealistic beauty, he shows how everyone’s ideals are different from others. He wanted a well rounded view on this world of glam and glitz in all it’s forms.

We live in a world that is based on who looks best, and pageants are an extension of that. He has captured this idea of beauty in it’s most exaggerated form and how women strive to be Miss Universe for example. But why is it we only ever pay attention to the big end pageants, why do all the others get so ignored. And he shows all sides of it he doesn’t want any of them going unnoticed.

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Research into Kelli Connell.

At a first glance these images leave a lot to question. But after looking more into this photographer I found out this project isn’t an odd twin situation. These situations never happened. She has photographer herself and overlaid them on film.

“These photographs reconstruct the private relationships that I have experienced personally, witnessed in public, or watched on television. The events portrayed in these photographs look believable, yet have never occurred.”

They make you think about identity and the many sides that come with this, it’s almost the good vs bad side in a way. The way the images look, like one copy of herself is a caring one while the overlay is the cared for. Because of the first look to these images they can be seen to be almost dark themed. Too quickly we judge what we see although we can not explain what we see.

It is interesting though how she has

Rainbow makeup

In this next shoot we experimented with high key fashion ideas. Taken from a mood board created by my sister in preparation  for this shoot. We wanted to look at something more vibrant and different from what we have done so far. This stays with the idealistic theme and adds  more variety to the work.

These also not yet edited show the raw image that will soon be altered to match with the ideal version of who Jess wants to be. Which for my research will show the progression of who she wants to be in comparison to who she is in my other work.

All these images will slowly get selected down to create my final photo book and 3 main prints for my exhibition.  I want the idealistic images to all be unique and vibrant. Just so you know what is beyond the ordinary and without the same realistic quality as the location style shots. I want to make her stand out in a unique way without any certain narrative to this section, just her in almost an individual identity with each studio shot in a new way that has her in one idealistic way in one way or another.

Ideal me.

Looking towards the middle section of my work I am wanting to show my sister as her ideal self. Incorporating what she wants to look like with ideas from what we see everyday. This section of my project is very influenced by her, she can be in control of the studio based practice.

We have been focusing a lot on body image and how she thinks she should look from lighting to poses we have considered many angles. I have been setting Jess tasks for the upcoming studio session to create mood boards and pick her own theme for the shoot. I want her to have the control over how she wants to look.

If she has control over the shoot then it really is about how she wants to look. It will shape to her body ideals, and how she wants to be seen and presented. Although this is a photo of Jess this isn’t her identity it is of her not about her.

She can put herself into whatever identity she wishes to have and it doesn’t matter she creates her own narrative of the idealistic self she chooses to portray. In this situation she can be vain  and all about her body image. It’s her desires for herself she chooses to share with the audience which adds to my idea of every changing stages of her life.

#followforfollow

There is one thing that I find sticks out a lot at the moment. And that’s how many followers or likes we have!

We all want to become this Instagram famous person. And I believe it is down to the people who influence us. For example the whole Kardashian bunch, they have millions of followers for the false narrative they create. And it’s rubbing off on women everywhere.

We like the idea that we can be anyone we want to be on Instagram no one really will know the real story. We can become what we think is an intrend unique person. But the reality is this narrative women follow is one that has rules. Gone have the days where you could post any old rubbish on Instagram not caring how many likes it got.

You become a category much like the work of Amalia Ulam who’s own work showed the three types of women we put ourselves in with. How all realities are fictions. No one really is who they say they are no matter how many times they put ‘no filter’ or ‘natural’. But because it is made to be so normal now. Between the rules of what you can post to how your profile should look we start to lose our identity.

No one really is who they want to be as much as they believe it. We all have insecurities in one way or another. But creating this whole new person makes us feel more inadequate when we put the phone down for those few minutes a day. All the followers we have are also their social media equivalents. Our own body image should not reflect that of who got the most likes on a selfie and has over X-amount of follower. Yet we have been bred to believe that’s how it is.

We need to move out of the virtual world and learn to like the reflection.