This week, I read articles on Glamour and Buzzfeed about 19-year-old college student Hannah Altman's photography series called And Everything Nice. In her collection, she chooses to replace female bodily fluids like blood, vomit, and tears using glitter to criticize society's standards of beauty. In her analysis of her photos, Altman discloses to Buzzfeed:
"By creating set-ups that would normally be considered grotesque would it not be for the glitter, the sparkle stands out because it is the only facet of the photo that is abnormal. The women models do not seem to acknowledge the glitter as something any different than natural body fluid, which supplements the idea that women have been conditioned to go to any length in order [to] keep up an attractive appearance. The project is meant to raise the awareness of such a ridiculous standard, and to question its morality."I admire that Altman took this stance on society's absurdly superficial standards of attractiveness, as she cleverly used glitter to glamorize the need for girls and women to strive to look alluring despite the reality of a scenario like crying or vomiting.
This photo collection definitely remarks upon gender and sexuality performances online, as Altman clearly wants to challenge the notion of women having to appear "put together" in order to be considered appealing. Her subversion of traditional concepts of sexuality I found of particular interest, as she is right in ridiculing the fact that women frequently wear makeup, shave their body hair, and endeavor to hide their "flaws" all in the hopes of attracting a partner.
However, if one thinks of stereotypes in society, men also put on a similar performance, as traditionally it is not considered "masculine" or like the model image of man for a male to be seen crying or showing his emotions. Thus, by endeavoring to look attractive by hiding the realities of one's "imperfections," this superficial lifestyle of appearances that Altman is addressing helps no one in reaching true understanding of one's identity beneath the surface.