9 Incredible Photographers Who Are Reimagining Beauty

9 Incredible Photographers Who Are Reimagining Beauty
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Photo: Getty Images/Allison Kahler

It’s not groundbreaking news that magazines, advertisements, and most recently television—like 60 years most recently— have collectively generated an idealized image of beauty. And it’s not earth-shattering news that they usually favor lighter skin tones, clear skin, thin, tall bodies, ultimately creating an entire group of people who don’t see themselves in the media.

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But there are people out there who, instead of just filtering in token “different” images of beauty, are trying to change or reimagine the entire concept of beauty.

It’s the people behind the lens, photographers, who capture beauty from the mundane to the avant-garde. Each new representation or interpretation of beauty pushes the boundaries a little further or encourages people to rethink what beauty even is (does it have a true purpose besides seeking a beholder?).

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We’ve gathered nine photographers—young, old, and budding—who, through their work, have presented new manifestations of beauty, defied standards, and highlighted the beauty in everyone. They also have must-follow Instagram feeds, but that’s beside the point.

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Camila Falquez

This 28-year-old Barcelona-born New York City dweller looks at the human body, in all its forms, equally. In her series for Vogue Italia"Humanity up Here," she spoke about her mixing of beauty and bodies. "Through that vision, I came to the conclusion that all humans own a body and so, all human beings are equally beautiful and magical. Diversity is implied.”

Photo: Instagram/@camilafalquez
Camila Falquez

She continued by saying, "This project is an exploration of form, this body is an essay on color. This series is a simple outline of a woman’s shape: that she owns and lives comfortably in. She lays, and stretches, and as she does, her body creates infinite shapes that I just follow and turn into abstract figures. The flesh becomes just simply beauty and shapes.”

Photo: Instagram/@camilafalquez
Anabel Navarro

Navarro, based in London, photographs women in a pure state. However, the purity of the women, as with this photo, is often blocked or molded by something else. She highlights a form women are supposed to fill and then reshapes the woman's body inside of it to show you don't have to fit the standard.

Photo: Instagram/@anabel_nll
Anabel Navarro

In an interview with i-D, Navarro said, "There's beauty when you accept your body and you move around without shame, without pretending to be skinnier or rounder. Without believing what you see on social media as a rule, just being proud of your body shape in a natural and desexualised way, accepting your nature, your tits, your bottom and your nose, enjoying the beauty of your body's folds."

Photo: Instagram/@anabel_nll
Christine Anderson

Longtime United States photographer Anderson reimagines the face in contrast to dots in her "Peeling the Onion" series. Not only are the dots unusual, but her subjects are generally older women. There's a beauty to the dots that isn't meant to cover, but rather to illuminate the beauty of the face and draw attention in.

Photo: Instagram/@dareuc
Christine Anderson

On her website, she talks about her experience with one of the women, "Doris let me put colored dots on her face. I used the dots to dramatically mimic the vintage hat netting, which partially covers the face. I think the dots help people to look beyond a person’s age and to notice other things about that person. I like to think that people have more in common than we would think despite age or any physical differences we may all have.”

Photo: Instagram/@dareuc
Myles Loftin

At only 20 years old, Loftin has made sure to make his mark in the photography industry. He crafts his images with bold colors and reality, giving an incredible mix of truth and make-believe.

Photo: Instagram/@mylesloftin
Myles Loftin

As a black man, Loftin focuses on the black body and portraying it as it is, beautiful. He told i-D, "Most importantly, I want to explore the inherent beauty in being ‘unapologetically black.’” With a lack of diversity in the industry and a majority of black people being captured as stereotypes, Loftin brings truth and a refreshing eye to the beauty that is blackness.

Photo: Instagram/@mylesloftin
Rosa Polin

Although a smaller known artist on this list, Polin photographs women and men in their vulnerability, accessibility, and beauty. Her book "Flawless" features portraits of people outside, naked, kissing, and living.

Photo: Instagram/@rosa_polin
Rosa Polin

Her title alludes to the point that in any state, we can all be flawless. She especially draws attention to unconventional standards of beauty like hairy legs, acne, exposed breasts, and larger forms.

Photo: Instagram/@rosa_polin
Rose Maisie Willoughby

Willoughby spent 10 years photographing nude women just because she liked how the body looked. For her, the female body is beautiful in its bare form. As often as women get criticized for being comfortable in their bodies or displaying it freely, Willoughby's take on the female body is a new idea of beauty.

Photo: Instagram/@maisie_willoughby
Rose Maisie Willoughby

However, the idea of the "female gaze" didn't enter into her mind until other people brought it up to her. When asked about her view on female nudity by AnOther, she replied, "Right now, I think it's simply about equality. Particularly in regards to the freedom to be nude without judgement."

Photo: Instagram/@maisie_willoughby
Alexi Lubomirski

Lubomirski is a well-known fashion photographer who after hearing about racial unacceptance in the industry decided to make a book dedicated to the diversity of beauty. The book titled "Diverse Beauty" opens up new ways to view beauty in the industry with already-famous names like Jennifer Lopez, Salma Hayek, Kerry Washington, and Demi Lovato.

Photo: Instagram/@alexilubomirski
Alexi Lubomirski

Lubomirski highlighted beauty in every type of woman, in addition to the stars featured, from transgender to Muslim. When speaking with InStyle he said, "I'm hoping that the more people see of different types of beauty, that it'll become the norm. You have to keep tapping people on the head."

Photo: Instagram/@alexilubomirski
Laura Alston

This energetic artist "guided by plants & creative energy" created her series "As Laid As It's Tied" to document a process over an outcome. The photographs of black men and women wearing durags brings something from the private into the public.

Photo: Instagram/@lilfedx
STYLECASTER | Photographers Who Change and Challenge Beauty Standards | Laura Alston
Laura Alston

Alston spoke directly to i-D detailing how her project captures not only beauty in the wrap but the process, “Whether for function or fashion, black hair rituals—like wearing du-rags—are beautiful not only because they shape one’s hair into a desired look, but also because of the process it took to get there.”

Photo: lauraalston.com
STYLECASTER | Photographers Who Change and Challenge Beauty Standards | Ryan McGinley
Ryan McGinley

McGinley's series "The Kids Were Alright" follows him and his friends around New York City from 1998 to 2003. It captures raw images of men and women living unglamorously, but beautiful in their own right.

Photo: ryanmcginley.com

Since this series, McGinley's continued to show beauty in everyday. McGinley can show a full, nude woman, but the simplicity of the shot challenges what's viewed as natural beauty and not, or even what's defined as naturally beautiful and not.

Photo: Instagram/@ryanmcginleystudios

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  • STYLECASTER | Photographers Who Change and Challenge Beauty Standards | Camila Falquez
  • STYLECASTER | Photographers Who Change and Challenge Beauty Standards | Camila Falquez
  • STYLECASTER | Photographers Who Change and Challenge Beauty Standards | Anabel Navarro
  • STYLECASTER | Photographers Who Change and Challenge Beauty Standards | Anabel Navarro
  • STYLECASTER | Photographers Who Change and Challenge Beauty Standards | Christine Anderson
  • STYLECASTER | Photographers Who Change and Challenge Beauty Standards | Christine Anderson
  • STYLECASTER | Photographers Who Change and Challenge Beauty Standards | Myles Loftin
  • STYLECASTER | Photographers Who Change and Challenge Beauty Standards | Myles Loftin
  • STYLECASTER | Photographers Who Change and Challenge Beauty Standards | Rosa Polin
  • STYLECASTER | Photographers Who Change and Challenge Beauty Standards | Rosa Polin
  • STYLECASTER | Photographers Who Change and Challenge Beauty Standards | Rose Maisie Willoughby
  • STYLECASTER | Photographers Who Change and Challenge Beauty Standards | Rose Maisie Willoughby
  • STYLECASTER | Photographers Who Change and Challenge Beauty Standards | Alexi Lubomirski
  • STYLECASTER | Photographers Who Change and Challenge Beauty Standards | Alexi Lubomirski
  • STYLECASTER | Photographers Who Change and Challenge Beauty Standards | Laura Alston
  • STYLECASTER | Photographers Who Change and Challenge Beauty Standards | Laura Alston
  • STYLECASTER | Photographers Who Change and Challenge Beauty Standards | Ryan McGinley
  • STYLECASTER | Photographers Who Change and Challenge Beauty Standards | Ryan McGinley
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