the body beautiful 1

Sydney May 2014 (5 photos)

Greta Garbo, and Monroe
Dietrich and DiMaggio
Marlon Brando, Jimmy Dean
On the cover of a magazine

Grace Kelly; Harlow, Jean
Picture of a beauty queen
Gene Kelly, Fred Astaire
Ginger Rogers, dance on air

They had style, they had grace
Rita Hayworth gave good face
Lauren, Katherine, Lana too
Bette Davis, we love you

Ladies with an attitude
Fellows that were in the mood
Don’t just stand there, let’s get to it
Strike a pose, there’s nothing to it


“Vogue” is a song by Madonna from her soundtrack album I’m Breathless (Music from and Inspired by the film Dick Tracy) and was released on March 20, 1990.

the body beautiful 2

The body beautiful. It’s a work of art. We are reminded of it everyday. We all have an ideal we strive for. Whether we get there or not is another issue. But what defines real beauty? I think the beauty and fashion industries have very strong ideas about what they believe beauty should be, and this may often be far removed from reality.

the body beautiful 3

And so each year new fashions come out, when there’s nothing wrong with the old styles. So who is the fashion industry designing clothes for? Them or us?

the body beautiful 4

Beauty and fashion is all around. Wear these. Look like this. Smell like that. This goes with that, and that doesn’t go with this. That’s why they have the term “fashion victim”.

And whether you keep up with the latest trends or not, I wonder if the beauty and fashion industry are simply laughing at us behind our backs?

the body beautiful 5

Hmmm, perhaps they are.

“Strike a pose”

Photography Etcetera, Sony Etcetera

The body beautiful


106 thoughts on “The body beautiful

  1. to remain in him says:

    :))) They don’t laugh: they are too busy to think how to get more money from us πŸ™‚
    But as much I know artists, they are trying to get some fun even in the industry πŸ™‚

  2. From “I’m too Sexy” to “Vogue”. Uh huh. The shots of the humans next to the “ideals” are priceless. The industry is surely laughing at us, especially in this era of Photoshop. Though I bet that Elle is one of the few who have little airbrushing.

    • Purely coincidental series of posts. πŸ™‚ The difference between ideals and reality can surely be quite harsh. I’ll bet there are a lot of guys who wish they could be that close to Elle.

  3. Beauty. Beauty is in the eye of the beholder, as always. We have our own style, we are all beautiful, such a shame some people can’t let us be. Love the different forms of beauty you captured in your photos. Great timing. This might be an oddly phrased question, but, do the photos find you, or do you find your photos?

    • Just another form of peer pressure isn’t it?

      Thank you. I guess it’s a bit of both – I just try to be more observant when out on a photo walk. The guy next to Elle was there when I got to the intersection. The woman walking past the poster – I stood there for a minute or two, waiting an appropriate person to come by.

  4. On the whole, the global culture elevates all that is “young” and “new” and does not do such a good job at honoring the old and seasoned. Vogue implies that sooner or later you will be forgotten, discarded or ignored; it’s just impossible to keep up. Thanks for the thought provoking post. And, always love your black and white images: great contrast, sharpness and composition.

  5. Stunning set Draco, the beauty’s cult is amazing in our society, and you show very well the difference between the magazines and the real life.
    Have a nice day πŸ™‚

  6. What a cool way to address work of art; and the The last capture… πŸ˜€ I often wonder about the fashion and reality. Great post, Dragon!

  7. YorkshireRascal says:

    πŸ™‚ i had smiles alway through this series.. Your timing is perfect on both 3 and 4 the lady carrying the shopping just thinking that was her on the poster 20 years ago and the guy stood under the models laugh having a smoke just set me off πŸ˜€ and I agree with everything you say; I’ve never been fashion conscious in dress but I always wondered how the shop was stocked with the colours I fancied when I decided to buy; Its as though our minds are primed through advertising before the release of new fashions and colours

    • Thank you. I’m glad you enjoyed it. A little bit of humour in photography never goes astray. πŸ™‚

      The advertising can be quite in your face at times, but also subliminal – it’s everywhere.

  8. tara cooney says:

    Great post & couldn’t agree more. Love the contrast of people – advertising & the real. Especially Elle laughing. Actually thats a bit creepy lol

  9. A fabulous series Lignum. That transition from fantasy to reality has so many spectacular results as you have so well demonstrated. I think my favourite is the babushka in the leopard print top (with a certain confidence of her own) between the commanding model photo and the one lurking beyond the arches. Babushka would insist on feeding both of them, eat eat! I bet she’s a good cook!

    • Thank you Patti, photography can surely be fun. Yes, she’d say “you’re too skinny. Eat!” Your comments always bring a smile to my face Patti. I’ll have to start thinking about dinner now. πŸ™‚

  10. They are awful, basically: they prey on the wealthy (about whom I care not a fig) and the young. But re the latter, the peer group syndrome means they’re trapped. I wish both industries to the devil.
    Love the shots but, LD ! πŸ™‚

  11. Awesome contrasts here, I like that very much! Yes, the industries for the so-called beautiful and/or rich and the real life – here they meet in one picture. Excellent eye-openers that makes the observer think … hopefully …

  12. Love the series and it was fun. The world of fashion is glamour and beaty, but also an illusion, stereotype and yes – a lot of photoshop. The reality is different, as we see, it is uniqueness and cosiness. Be fashionable, but in your way πŸ™‚

  13. You are such a great story teller Draco! I love this post, fantastic photos and thoughts. You’ve fit the real and ideal so wonderfully in the same picture!

  14. I think they are laughing at us behind our back, because they know they are selling us not so much a product that we need to wear but a dream. The woman walking near to that add in the shopping mall really highlights that to me, it’s a very good image of reality. She is like millions of women who actually spend the money on all those dreams, clothes, perfume, cosmetics and even exotic holidays, but they are nothing like the serene smart girl in the ads. And do they ever even remotely feel like that cool girl? Somehow, I think not! 😐 Pity though, some advertising can be so creative! πŸ™‚

  15. Much as I’d like to make some smart and snappy comment here…can’t do it. This is SUCH a spot-on photo-essay. Three cheers for the Dragon!
    (Don’t worry…I’ll balance off all that kindness another time. πŸ™‚ )

  16. photos 3 and 4 are absolutely brilliant in terms of contrast…lol πŸ˜€

    I had so much fun catching up with your latest posts, Draco… thank you!!!

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