What are we willing to buy and try to reach the beauty standards imposed by society? It’s a never-ending list and on Amazon, we can find all sorts of absurd and weir beauty tools. The Scottish photographer Evija Laivina used these eccentric tools to create a photographic project called “Beauty Warriors” that shows the tortures that each one of us, unaware or not, tries to reach the desired look.
“I was working on a project for my university course about beauty concepts and identity,” tells Evija. “I wasn’t sure how it would develop, but in the meantime a started collecting these weird objects.” Evija is referring to the enormous amount of cheap gadget sold online (starting from 2.60 £ on Amazon) that promises to lift the eyelids, erase the double chin and enlarge your smile. The shipping usually takes a while, because these products usually come from China or South Korea. So before they arrived in Scotland, Evija had time to carefully plan the portraits that she would have shot. She chose as her subjects, friends, family members and acquaintances, that stand out in her pictures on watermarked backgrounds, usually posing at three-quarters. The compositions remind of school yearbooks if it wasn’t for the plastic, rubber and latex gadgets that hide their faces (that remains calm no matter what).
Among the products that Evija photographed, there a smile maker made in green plastic that locks the lips in a grin (made in Korea, sold for 5.99 dollars), a head belt in pink neoprene, that shapes the chin which reviews suggest that it should work for small chins as well (made in China, sold for 7.85 dollars), and an eyelid trainer that reminds of a pair of upside-down shades, that promise to defines the eye shape without any plastic surgery (you can find it on Amazon at 19.90 dollars). Evija’s pictures want to show the funny side of these tools and at the same time the anxiety to reach certain beauty standards. “I also feel this pressure,” confessed Evija. “When I was in high-school I was a victim of bullies for my nose. I know how women feel when they can’t fit inside these pre-established standards. It seems that everyone needs to have a perfect nose. It’s stupid. But if you don’t adhere to these beauty canons you end up feeling depressed and start doing stupid things. This is why we need to keep talking about these issues”.