Love Me - Bodies homogenized to global ideals
“Globalization hasn't just given us Starbucks in Beijing and shopping malls in Africa,” says photographer Zed Nelson. “It is also creating an eerily homogenized look.”
Nelson’s Love Me has been awarded First Prize in the 2010 Pictures of the Year International competition (USA); the Judges’ Special Recognition in Best Photography Book Award (USA); and an award in the 2010 World Press Photo Competition (Netherlands).
In Mr. Nelson's words, "Beauty is a $160 billion-a-year global industry. The worldwide pursuit of body improvement has become a new religion."
Love Me explores the reach of the global beauty industry and presents a catalog from 17 countries exploring cosmetic surgeons, their clientele, their surgical procedure, as well as other forms of body modification. The highly artistic images range from beautiful to exotic to upsetting.
Mr. Nelson continues, "The promise of bodily improvement is fueled by advertising campaigns and a commercially-driven Western media, reflecting an increasingly narrow palette of beauty. The modern Caucasian beauty ideal has been packaged and exported globally, and just as surgical operations to 'Westernise' oriental eyes have become increasingly popular, so the beauty standard has become increasingly prescriptive."
Nelson feels that "Beauty [is] becoming a homogenous brand. The more rigorously our vision is trained to appreciate the artificial, the more industries benefit. The current standard of beauty feeds the fashion, cosmetics, diet, medical and entertainment industries, with the homogenization of appearance becoming part of an increasingly globalized consumer culture. We have created a world in which there are enormous social, psychological and economic rewards and penalties attached to the way we look."
Images and artist's website