This is The Flawless Project. It was born out of my experience as a photographer in the fashion industry. I have spent the last five years freelancing and landed my first “real” job out college at a modeling agency in New York City. This was a particularly eye opening experience. I learned all the tricks of the trade. I smoothed all the lines, pinched in the waists, lengthened the legs and tied my own stomach in knots over being a part of an industry that perpetuates such an impossible standard of beauty. As someone who has long struggled with my own body image issues, my responsibilities at this job produced an intense amount of guilt in me.
The amount of excessive photoshopping that goes on within mainstream media has been gaining a lot of attention as of late. Reports of this come neatly packaged as something that is meant to make people feel better about themselves, but what about all of the people whose before and after photos are unknowingly slapped across the cover of every tabloid in America? We shouldn’t have to put each other down to feel better about ourselves.
In an effort to shed some light on exactly what goes on between the initial capture of a photograph and its actual publication, while avoiding exposing anyone else without permission, I have taken my own before and after photos. This is me. This is my thigh fat, my tattoos, and my clumpy mascara. The “before” photos are completely untouched, while the after photos are edited to industry standards.
I don’t know if I really believe that we can change the media’s representation of beauty. Skinny sells. Big boobs sell. Perfect skin sells. What we can do is change the way we consume these images. We can educate ourselves enough to know that everything we see is simply a bunch of digital smoke and mirrors.
That said, I don’t plan to end this project with this series of self portraits. I plan to continue to shoot real photos of real people, who are each beautiful in their own way, and retouch them according to industry standards in order to continue spreading this message. If you are interested in modeling for The Flawless Project, please shoot me an email at Chrissy.Bulakites@gmail.com. Thanks!
This rules just like my pal Chrissy does. I’m sure’d love if some of you nice people modeled for her new project!