Jessica, a Melbourne based photographer depicts beauty rituals as grotesque acts of mutilation. She shows what lengths women would go to in order to meet the society-set standards of beauty.
She says she was like any other woman while growing up but was always aware of “this sense of women's sexuality being something that was scary, uncomfortable and somewhat threatening and this strong sense of fear surrounding the idea of aging."
“I personally think what is really disturbing now is the way that the expectation of a woman to engage in beauty treatments, procedures and cosmetic surgery, is so ingrained in our culture that we don't even think twice about it. These procedures are almost so mainstream now that you book them to fit between your grocery shopping and your laundry. There are a whole generation of young women who not only think it is normal to do this but that its desirable and worse, expected, “she adds.
Here’s how she shows the everyday beauty rituals of women in Monstrous Feminine:
Throughout time women have had an obsession with their physical appearance. There are society-dictated standards of what beauty is and what’s not. There seem to be ‘accepted’ molds that women feel the need to fit into in order to be seen as beautiful and socially acceptable.
Starving themselves for size zero bodies, getting stuff injected and surgically added or removed from their bodies to have the perfect lips, hips, mouths and eyebrows, are things that society tries to sell to women.
The standards of ‘beauty’ shown in the media and applauded are nowhere near what real beauty is. But they are lauded and appreciated and held above the average woman as aspirations and ideal beings. It is therefore not surprising that women go to extra lengths to fit into these molds.
Jessica Ledwich’s work then may give one the chills, may be deemed inappropriate by some and grotesque by others, but it is certainly eye-opening.