Velvet d’Amour

byVelvet d’Amour 09.08.2012

Velvet d’Amour lebt in Paris und arbeitete mit großem Erfolg als Model für John Galliano, Jean Paul Gaultier und Nick Knight. Sie ist ebenso eine leidenschaftliche Fotografin und im Februar erschien ihr Magazin  VoL•UP•2. Velvet d´Amour wurde in Paris von unserer Fotografin Saima Altunkaya während eines Shootings für die ukrainische L’Official fotografiert. Dagmar Hanneger gab ihr vier Stichworte, zu denen sie sich erklärte.


The promise of Beauty

What we see when we make studies associated with how looks influence power is that the closer women edge towards the current beauty ideal we are fed, the more opportunities are open to them. Thus, the promise of Beauty in this day and age is Power.  We have a great number of opportunities open to women, more now then ever before, yet there is a sense of stagnation in the depth to which looks effect status and power.  

As a photographer I have photographed many models who are signed with model agencies, these are the women held up as ideals, yet a very profound lesson I learned which opened my eyes to the global sense of unrest women feel when it comes to their looks, is when I realized that the women so many see as ideal; they themselves are more often then not dissatisfied! They are placed in constant competition against one another by going up for castings, thus their every inch is dissected, they may lose out on doing a runway show because their bust is too big, or lose out on an ad because their bust is too small, their life consists of judgement on their appearence. Many women who are not models have pointed at adverts or editorials with models and said, ‘If only I looked like her, my life would be complete!’ And they genuinely feel this way, yet in working with women held up as our ideal and seeing that even they do not feel good about themselves really drives home how utterly pointless this endless quest for ‘perfection’ is. How much time women in particular, waste on how they look, how much time women waste feeling less then, versus reveling who they are they, in honoring how they look and the ancestry which helped develop that particular look, how unique and magical each individual is and how far we can come to help others or to work towards goals of genuine importance once we unite. 



The dictate of Beauty

The internet and modern media have multiplied the images of a largely Western beauty ideal to an inestimable extent, where it reaches a much more global audience, thus we have African women who use bleach to lighten their skin, and Asian women who have operations to widen their eyes, while ironicly Western women strive to have rounder asses and tanner skin! Models in women’s magazines can be as young as 12 years old! The dictate of modern beauty is this very odd dichotomy which cultivates unreachable desires as ideals, in order to propel women to spend inordinable amounts of time and more importantly MONEY - striving for a dictate that does not exist outside of computerized imagery for the most part.



The pain of Beauty

The reason women accept physical  pain in relation to edging closer to the current highly unattainable beauty ethic, speaks to the extent of internal/mental anguish they suffer with their self image. The process of breaking your nose in order to attain a new one, cutting off your nipples (oftentimes leaving them without sensa

tion), chemical peels which literally burn off layers of skin, liposuction etc. Most operations related to changing one’s appearence 

have some aspect of pain involved, many of which require anestesia because of how serious an operation is envolved, pain is seemingly inevitable, yet the pain is perceived in the same way which childbirth may be considered “a necessary evil” which will be easily forgotten once the physical change has been met.

The real pain relating to Beauty is that which is internal, the hidden pain behind what may seem physical perfection, the insecurities women face in losing the power of Beauty when it is perceived as maintaining a certain integrity towards the ideal being sold to them. 

When women are able to come to a place of peace within themselves, when they use their force to accept and love themselves thus freeing them to help others or attain goals of a deeper value, then they get to this amazing place of true empowerment which allows them to see how shortsighted and limiting falling for a dictate of beauty that is so highly unattainable and so lacking in diversity be it by size or race or age or height etc.

The true beauty we carry is often the least viewed, and that is the beauty of character.



The surgery of Beauty

I remember back when we were in school in social studies (history) we learned that the Victorians would break their lower ribs in order to better fit in a corset. We were so shocked that that could be even considered and I remember thinking how backward we once were to have done such things. 


But now we have pushed the feminine ‘ideal’ to such an unreachable, exaggerated extreme that we have a great number of women, (even teenagers!) who augment their breasts, or their ass, and liposuction their stomach, waist, etc. They have any number of plastic surgeries performed and many even after having done so, are not satisfied. IF a women wants to turn to plastic surgery in order to feel better about herself that is entirely her personal choice, and I am not here to judge that. 


What all of this plastic surgery speaks to, is the state of extreme dissatisfaction women feel in 2012 with their looks. We have evolved so much as a society, in so many ways, yet we have regressed when it comes to our state of well being. The more women feel bad about themselves the more capitalism is driven, it is easily a trillion dollar biz to make women turn to various surgeries or creams and treatments etc etc in order to reach a form of beauty that is literally inaccessible. Inaccesible because the images have been doctored largely by retouching and thus the women we see in the inordinate amount of images we are assaulted with on a daily basis do not exist, yet the more society is fed this ideal, the more women strive for it. And that is why Plastic Surgery has become commonplace, in order for women to reach a beauty ideal which naturally is unreachable.




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