Wednesday, December 3, 2008

Real Beauty

The many faces of Eve

I was up in Johannesburg last weekend and the friend I was visiting took me to the Goodman Gallery to show me an exhibition by Jodi Bieber titled Real Beauty. Wow, what an eye opener ... it consisted of massive photographs of South African women in their underwear but these were not the young and beautiful sort that normally grace the fashion pages of La Femme.

No, no, no, they were all ages and sizes and shades, and some were ancient and wrinkled, others flabby and veined, or just wildly overweight. What they all had in common was that they were not models but average women, just like you and me.

You can find out why former press photographer Bieber chose this theme in her press release here. It's worth reading.

Now, when I asked a colleague to scan in the exhibition photo for me to use on this blog he did a double take. After all, in the media we don’t usually publish photographs of people semi-nude unless they are young and beautiful ... it was a sobering thought.

But, you know what? After I had looked around the exhibition, I discovered I could see real beauty in many of them. Every woman had something special, a spark of something. Courageous, certainly, to show so much of their physical imperfections and yes, they were each, in their own way, beautiful.

Viva real beauty!

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