It's nice to open a fashion magazine and see wrinkles. Or laugh lines. Or double chins. Or frizzy hair. After seeing magazine image after image photoshopped -beyond the point of looking human- there's something really surprising and reassuring about flipping through a magazine and seeing people that look like actual people.
I was reading an old Vanity Fair today and after passing the ubiquitous fashion spreads without more than a second look, I came upon some of the photos from U.S.A networks character project. I couldn't look away.
I have become so accustomed to seeing the photoshopped bodies and faces of actresses and models that natural occurrences like freckles, wrinkles, and under-eye bags seem so out of place. It's odd, how we look in the mirror everyday and see these realities, and yet in a magazine we've almost come to expect every flaw airbrushed.
The character project has actually been going on for awhile, but this is the first time I saw the images juxtaposed against a slew of fashion advertising, the affect is intriguing. The project according to the website is an ongoing artistic initiative to capture the character of American and pay tribute to the extraordinary people, from all walks of life, who make this country unique. The people photographed come from all over the country and the work is created by 11 world renowned photographers. All the photos are different but refreshing in their own way. You can see all the work and videos about the making of here.