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Shapely Shapelessness

A few weeks back @19syllables and I went to a private view of The Photographers’ Gallery’s latest show, Feminist Avant-Garde of the 1970s. One of the pieces that caught our eye was Ana Mendieta’s Untitled (Glass on Body Imprint) series, where the photographer uses glass pressed against her face and body to purposely distort her features and natural shape, occasionally to quite grotesque affect.

After the show I read a bit more about her work in an article called Shapely Shapelessness. I learnt how she used her work to mimic, parody and distort the ideals of beauty perpetuated by the fashion and cosmetic industry. Last week as I arched and twisted on my desk to arty affect, her work came back to me. So I decided that this week I would parody myself. Where last week I hid the bits I don’t like and accentuated those I do, with careful composition and a moody black and white edit, this week I have squashed my least favourite bits right up against the glass and taken the colour down to a point where it is almost insipid.

Although this is the antithesis of last week’s shot, there’s something about it I actually quite love. I don’t know what. Maybe the fact that I thought ‘sod it, let’s do this!’

Sinful Sunday


  1. HappyComeLucky

    You know this is more proof that you look like a work of art from all angles. I adored last week’s amazing and stunning shot. I think I love this one even more.

  2. tabitharayne

    This is amazing! It’s so sexy too – just like how your body would be all squished up against a lover…
    Phwoar! You’re HAWT x x ?

  3. lapsedcatholicwife

    I actually like this one, the full blown on lets do it, we each have parts we dislike but like this photograph other people see the beauty in the human form. x

  4. eye

    The quality of your skin is really pulled out by he edit here. I like it a lot.

  5. Molly

    I love how the glass and the way you have edited it almost makes it look like a painting. I love how the light seems to be hugging the outline of your body. This is such a creative piece of work and I really really like it

  6. F Dot Leonora

    you are so fearless, i love how you explore your body for the camera…

  7. Jack (o' Lantern) (@jackandjillcpl)

    Gorgeous and enticing! Beautiful shot.

  8. holdenandcamille

    Your creativity never ceases to amaze us! Beautiful, beautiful photo! ~C

  9. jerusalemmortimer

    That is a carefully crafted image, and a beautiful one.
    Great photo!

  10. Jo

    This is such a brilliant idea! The way your boobs are squished makes it look a bit Picasso-esque. 🙂 I really dig the subdued colors, too – beautiful shot!

  11. 19syllables

    I adore this. It feels like a celebration of your body. It shuns all the accepted, drapey twists we all employ (me included) to make our bodies appear most conformed to ‘accepted beauty’ and in doing this your genuine beauty and your fearless character is laid bare.

  12. Marie Rebelle

    I find myself imagining your gorgeous forms on the glass, and looking at it from below, admiring the lines and the roundness the way I am admiring it time and again when I scroll back to the image. Gorgeous!
    Rebel xox

  13. melliscious

    I really like this pic. It reminds us image overall is a matter of perspective and circumstance. Very good work on this. I like it a lot

  14. Penny

    I agree with Molly, it almost looks like a painting–I love it!

  15. ouizzi

    I wish I had a bit more of the “sod it” in me, this is a brilliant shot, a work of art! X

  16. Hope Always

    This as is last weeks image truly beautiful. No one can be seen in their entirety from one angle or aspect of their personality. We all have flaws, But what we see as flaws others see as beauty.
    I also agree with all of Molly’s comments.
    I have a quote on one of my Images on another site I think you may like.
    “Once you’ve accepted your flaws, no one can use them against you.”

  17. Ann St. Vincent

    Like Molly, I thought this could be a painting. It’s something I could easily see in a gallery – it’s interesting, forces you to really look, it’s not just a perfect boob with great lighting (not that there’s anything wrong with that). Kudos to you for posting it. xo

  18. Modesty Ablaze (@ablazingmodesty)

    Beautiful . . . and wonderfully clever.
    I’m loving your glass !!!
    Xxx – K

  19. sub-Bee

    I love everything about this, great angle, great idea!

  20. Simina

    This is rather poignant for me as Daddy and I have been discussing body image this afternoon.

    • Exposing40

      I hope it was a positive discussion! xx

  21. mariasibylla

    I quite love this too! And I think it is equally as arty as your first one. The shapes are distorted a bit, yes, but the lighting is so lovely, it looks like a painting of dawn or dusk. And your skin and body is breathtakingly beautiful here (and always), the curves that are caressed by the light and contrast against the flat plane of your breasts and belly against the glass. The composition is perfect and it looks like a painting. Really lovely! Might be one of my favorites.

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