For one of her recent collections, photographer Stephanie Diani
invited women into her studio and asked them what they would want to change about themselves if anything. Pre-surgery lines were drawn on the parts of their bodies that they would like to change by plastic surgeons. This created Diani’s Tribe of Impossible Perfection series, which is such an excellent name, because those pre-surgery lines and circles really are reminiscent of tribal body art.
I think it’s an interesting statement, especially because I KNOW we’re all supposed to love our bodies just the way they are, but who really does? I’m definitely a victim of self-loathing on occasion, and to see these women pinpoint what they find awful on bodies that I would not have thought to edit, is pretty powerful.
It reminds me of a high school performance piece someone did (I went to a performing arts school, eons ago) where she was a plastic surgery addict and drew those same pre-surgery lines on herself. It just reminded me of how grammatical errors are circled on an essay. It was significant then in my adolescent “becoming a person” mindset, and still is.
This series is a strange balance between sad and beautiful. It’s clearly sad because these women feel the need to change these parts of themselves, but the art of it is beautiful. And that these women had the confidence to be photographed with all of their insecurities highlighted like that is a little bit beautiful too, maybe seeing these photos will help them love those circled parts. That could just be me being hopeful or sappy, but if it doesn’t improve these women’s self-appreciation it certainly makes me think about fostering my own self-love.