Chicago-based photographer Gracie Hagen acknowledges that the media only shows us the prettiest photos of the prettiest people. Despite the fact that most of us understand that celebrity beauty is a cocktail of lighting, angles, and Photoshop, we consistently compare ourselves to these images anyway. Illusions of the Body is Hagen’s attempt to shatter the myth, capturing her subjects both as the beauty and the beast in a mirror of dueling identities. Each portrait feels like the individual’s perception of their best and worst selves, the more unflattering of the two acting as a vulnerable peek into that person’s particular body issues. Shooting a variety of different ages, genders and ethnicities is Hagen’s way of declaring that there is no “norm” when it comes to the human form. Illusions of the Body is one woman’s attempt to reveal the beauty in our many differences and to celebrate the body as a weird and gorgeous part of being human.
Illusions of the Body is now available as a photo book.