Celebrating one of the oldest canvas’ to date, the ‘human body’. A documentation established in 2014 when I reached a point in my work questioning the standards and politics of female beauty. I set out on a journey to seek my own truth, without a commercial agenda and consciously removing myself from the already established standards of the beauty industry.
In those years, my aim was to encourage diversity by photographing all body shapes and colours and leaving in all their beautiful imperfections. Scars, bruises, stretch marks, I feel help tell a story of the human condition without the need for words.
The following photographs are a selection showcasing models renown for their wonderful body shapes, along with their luminous personalities.
All works are created in camera, without re-touching.
To learn more about the project and its book launch please visit https://christopherpolack.net/projects/human/
Unconventional and unapologetic, the raw images I create today are authentically human. Photography teaches me to embrace diversity in work and in life. I enjoy exploring the concept of beauty, and not limiting myself to one standard but instead experimenting with what can be possible for a more inclusive future.
I’m really proud of myself. I learned so much about my being and my body this year, I think a lot of people have. Personally, I think it’s because I was literally forced to be with myself most of the time due to lockdown rather than being distracted by social gatherings. I started yoga at the top of the year and I’ve reached levels I never thought my body could. Doubting my body has really denied me emotions that I want to feel time and time again. That feeling of achieving something even if it’s really small. Getting stronger in general has made me feel good. I also launched my own handmade earring brand called Khula. I’ve always wanted to have my own earring line but nothing was happening so I took it upon myself to learn how to make them from clay. It’s doing super well and I’m preparing myself to take it more seriously. I never expected it to take off like this but the support has made my 2020 feel somewhat worthwhile. I practically spent every penny I had to make it work so I thank God and everyone who has supported me. My locs have gotten longer too, they’ve gone past my mid-back which is really cool. I’m thinking of a radical change for next year, though. I’m 24 in February and I really want to experiment and reinvent myself constantly, while I still can. Am I excited for 2021? I’m not entirely sure. All I know is that I’m doing the best I can.
Being a WOC plus size model has enabled me to continue the movement of normalising all bodies, and be the representation of your everyday woman. I am able to use my voice and body to educate others on important matters like this, changing the idea of what a model is and society’s standard beauty. It has also given me the opportunity to go on a deep self discovery journey and learn to love myself for my whole self. Learning that showing skin does not have to be sexual but is showing appreciation and confidence in yourself. Realising that your mind, body and soul must be balanced for you to truly understand and love yourself.
“Every body tells its own personal stories, whether it’s telling you about how a scar is the result of a saved life, or how hips full of stretch marks are a sign of growth.
Every day are full of new feelings – both mental and physical ones. If you had met me just a year ago, I was a different woman, often feeling like I was born into the wrong body. It has taken me every day of my whole life to come to a point where I could embrace myself, my looks, and my psyche. And I still deal with my own body image, but as I’ve gotten older I’ve found myself to have grown into my skin with all its quirks and imperfections. I’m not all the way there yet, but I’m positive I’m on the right track. I can sense the freedom of my own acceptance.”
‘When I was created they removed the gap between my thighs and placed it between my two front teeth. Embodying beauty in my unique way I was told continuously that I should model. In order to win, my biggest cheerleader had to be me, so with confidence and a flair for fashion instilled from my Nigerian mother that’s what I did – and very loudly too.
The beauty of my current position in my career is the fact that I am living out my dream: regular shoots, consistent work yet still enjoying the obscurity so I can indulge in one of my favourite past times – walks through my local market lost in dreams of the future undisturbed.’