Keywords: Cosmetic surgery, Hyper femininity, Beauty standards
Within this photo series I explore the role of cosmetic surgery in the world around us, and in my own life. How does the illusion of a ‘natural’ face relate to a cosmetically enhanced face? Our highly normative Dutch culture adores the seeming effortlessness that goes together with an appearance that looks untouched. Meanwhile it seems to be forgotten that a lot of money and time is spent
on living up to these ‘natural’ beauty standards. When money or a form of CAMP (exaggeration) become visible in one’s appearance a resistance arises that is interesting to question.
The video work plays with the male gaze but focuses on cosmetic surgery as a form of decorating identities: hyper femininity. Hyper femininity is a response to the social change challenging traditional femininity through the adoption of exaggerated stereotypical traits. After, or perhaps despite the appearance of a range of documentaries that approach cosmetic surgery in a critical if not dismissive way, trash TV shows and even artwork, cosmetic surgery is a popular topic among women whose appearance is, anyway, all too often treated as public property. Representation in
our visual culture creates a stereotype around woman who choose cosmetic surgery. Through stereotyping this subculture their identity becomes flat and grey, which is funny because they aren’t.
Note to self: look up more information in order to answer the question how old the phenomenon of desire for body improvement is. Figure out what a ‘natural’ face is and why it is so considered to be so important.