Who defines beauty?
A few days ago I was on my class of history of photography and we were talking about this famous movement that is Dadaism.
That same day after that class I came home and did what I do best: watch funny videos on youtube Through my enriching session of crappy videos I found one that caught my attention, one that was totally out of context with the videos I was watching but I feel lucky to have found it. This one talked about Rick Guidotti, a fashion photographer. On this TED talk Guidotti talked about his project and how it started. As a fashion photographer he was always told which model to photograph, because she was beautiful; and which model he will photograph the next day, because she was beautiful too. During this first minutes he said something that could be changing my approach in the field of photography: “I am a photographer, I am an artist I see beauty everywhere, but everyday I was told what is classified as beauty”. At this point I remembered the words of Marcel Duchamp and I dare to take his same concept just changing one word: “I denny the possibility of defining BEAUTY”.
Guidotti’s first project started when he saw a kid with albinism on the bus stop. “She was beautiful she had long white hair and pale pale skin” Guidotti said. Albinism is a genetic condition characterized by the complete or partial absence of pigment in the skin, hair and eyes due to absence or defect of tyrosinase, a copper-containing enzyme involved in the production of melanin. Guidotti did his research about albinism and he found images lacking humanity, images of sadness. He thought that there had to be another way to show it. Frustrated about this he contacted NOAH (National Organization for Albinism and Hypopigmentation) and pushed them to start this project. The first kid he photographed walked into the studio with shyness and looking at the floor, showing lack of self stem so Guidotti said “I’m going to photograph her like anyone else”. Somehow he made the girl see herself as he saw her, beautiful, and immediately her pose change. The result is just beautiful. This is the link to see the entire talk:
As a photography student I have learned that photography has rules and that painting has rules, but once in a while there is people that defies these rules and sometimes this results as magnificent art pieces. Sometimes there is someone as Rick Guidotti who decided to defy the rules and the result is a magnificent piece of art.
I like to think that beauty hasn’t changed through the years, what has changed is the “definition of beauty”. Beauty is something abstract, something that everyone has and nobody can change. On the other hand the definition of beauty is easily changed. If we go through the dictionary and look for the definition of beauty we will find this: a combination of qualities, such as shape, colour, or form, that pleases the aesthetic senses, especially the sight. Who defines what is the best combination of shape, colour and form? You. Beauty is undefinable because every single person is different, and every single person will like a different combination.
As a future professional photographer Guidotti’s project has changed my approach and I know that I may have to work in the industry of fashion and if this is the case I won’t let the standards guide my definition of beauty, I won’t let anyone else pick the combination of shape, colour and form that I like the most. Beauty is love, beauty is kindness, beauty is happiness, beauty is respect, beauty is humanity.
Sergio Neyra was born in Arequipa, Peru, currently living in Sydney, Australia. He is studying Certificate IV in photo imaging at TAFE Ultimo. Sergio’s interests are photography, psychology and traveling. To find out more about Sergio visit http://au.linkedin.com/pub/sergio-neyra/a1/313/476
Image from: http://positiveexposure.org/
Blog Editor Comment: For a further understanding on how the brain associates and correlates beauty, please read the article "The Beauty & The Mind"