Photographer and filmmaker Nadia Lee Cohen debuts a chic and satirical short film that holds a mirror up to society’s pursuit of physical perfection.
British photographer and filmmaker Nadia Lee Cohen is known for her brightly coloured, highly styled and provocative imagery. In her photographs and films, the blues are bluer, the hair is higher and the models are so perfect that they look more like mannequins than people. Exaggeration is key, and there’s no such thing as ‘too much’. Her striking imagery has caught to attention of mega fashion brands such as Paper, Pigeons & Peacocks, i-D and Mui Mui. Now, the photographer debuts her latest short film A Guide to Indulgence on global arts platform Nowness.
A Guide to Indulgence is chic and satirical. A harem of plastic-faced women discovers how to be beautiful according to today’s standards, delivered through 1950s style guides. The women learn about beauty regimes, diet, exercise and social etiquette, and complete to earn the title of ‘Most Beautiful’.
Speaking to Nowness, Cohen explains: “The constant pressure of striving for perfection is so familiar in the world we inhabit. In response to homogenous ideals of beauty, I wanted to create a satirical world in which the female inhabitants have pushed their appearances into cartoonish, melodramatic and extreme representations of femininity; yet are still looking to improve themselves further.
“This is an entirely persona film, which hopefully subtly exposes the cracks beneath the surface; depicted through music, darting eyes beneath masks and subtle wordplay, these features endeavour to puncture an environment that, unless scrutinised, appears entirely perfect.”
A Guide to Indulgence holds a mirror up to our pursuit for perfection, and what it shows us isn’t so pretty.
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