Have you ever thought about all the weird things we do as a species to appear more “beautiful”? While male peacocks spread out their feathers and penguins puff up their chests, humans undergo some decidedly more messy – and even dangerous – procedures. From creams to injections, and even “slicing and dicing”, it’s sometimes hard to understand how this has become a norm in our society.
British artist, Oliver Jones, is not afraid to put this all into question in his new exhibition, Love the Skin You’re In. If you feel like you’ve heard that slogan before, you thought correctly. It is/was actually the punch line for Olay‘s skincare line. The mixed messages become starkly apparent. Of course, on the one hand you are being told to love yourself the way you are, but then again, “Wouldn’t you love yourself that much more with this CREAM?” It’s funny really, and we’re glad someone is making a visual statement through art on the subject.
Apart from the bold subject matter – depicting males and females with foils, gunky masks, and pre-surgical markings at the forefront and center – the medium in which this work was created is also astounding. We had naturally assumed that this was simply a photography series, but perhaps more impressively, we came to find that the Love the Skin You’re In works are actually chalk-pastel drawings.
Another aspect to look out for are the titles of the images, showing you how ironic the beauty industry’s messages truly are. Take the below’s “You Can Shine.” While 14 Carat Gold facials are becoming increasingly popular, not only are they expensive, but also laborious. You can see that by the expression on the woman’s face, the only thing shining is the product. Her expression seems longing and forlorn. Wouldn’t you feel that way too if you had metal on your face?
You Can Shine
Take off the Mask
Dramatically Reduces Lines
3 Steps to Younger Looking Skin Pt. 1
3 Steps t o Younger Looking Skin Pt. 2
3 Steps to Younger Looking Skin Pt.3
The Best a Man Can Get
Maybe She’s Born With It
Because Younger Looking Eyes Never Go Out Of Fashion
All images via Beautiful/Decay
For more Art & Design, check out our articles here.
How would you like to challenge beauty ideals?