• Joanna Kudryńska
  • Barbara Ayozie

Female ​b​ody ​h​air. A stigma, taboo, a social faux pas. Even in circles that pride themselves on self expression – that brand​ish​ their rejections of cultural conventions – the idea of female body hair remains largely uncontested. An almost universal symbol of the societal mis​fi​t. So much is female body hair unaccepted that women have internalised this as a default beauty standard. Removing body hair has long been associated with being neat, well-maintained, and sexualy desirable. Speaking to women​ fl​outing these conventions reveals a complex blend: shame​ and​ ​shaming, control ​and submission, aggression​ and​​ passiveness; as a discussion point, the topic reveals how a combination of internal and external forces shape our actions and reactions towards sex, gender and ​our​sel​ves​. Photographer Joanna Kudryńska and ​a​rt ​d​irector Zille Bo wanted to explore this topic – so deeply rooted in aesthetics – visually. A play on ​a modern​ fashion photoshoot, typically a medium that consolidates​ current​ beauty standards, this project places ​f​emale ​b​ody ​h​air in the spotlight, featuring it as a controversial accessory: ​w​hat does it add? ​w​hat does it stand for? ​w​hy is it here? By executing a polished shoot with a model who does not depilate, the project juxtaposes the subject against its own convention: the unsightly in a context of admiration. ​Th​e origin of this beauty standard is called to mind. Whom does this convention ben​fi​t, and at what expense? ​ Th​is last question speci​fi​cally serves to provoke conscious thought, encouraging us to think more critically about visual editorial standards. Or​ even​ to reverse the censorship of this socially constructed taboo. Perhaps. Concept & Photography: Joanna Kudryńska / @joanna_kudrynska Art Direction: Zille Sophie Bostinius / @zillebo Model: Sonia Cytrowska / @bodyhairmovement Styling: Barbara Ayozie / @fu_safira Hair: Karoliina Saunders / @karoliinasaunders MUA: Jesca Li / @jescalimua