Photographs by Zed Nelson.
contrasto, 2009. 196 pp., 88 color illustrations, 10¼x12¼".
Love Me explores the insidious power of the global beauty industry and our collective insecurity, vanity and fear of ageing.
In a series of compelling images which lodge firmly in our consciousness, Love Me negotiates the boundaries of art and documentary, reflecting a world we have created in which there are enormous social, psychological and economic rewards and penalties attached to the way we look.
Over a period of five years Zed Nelson visited seventeen countries across five continents. In Love Me we meet cosmetic surgeons, anorexics, child beauty queens, bodybuilders, trainee models, housewives, porn stars, businessmen and soldiers signing up for breast implants.
Whilst Nelson’s subjects appear willing participants in an omnipresent culture of bodily improvement, they are also hapless victims – at the mercy of larger social forces and locked into their insatiable craving for approval. While the subject are exposed, so too are we the viewer; our motives for looking, for inspecting, along with uncomfortable reminders of our own vanities, insecurities and pretensions.
In Love Me, Zed Nelson has produced a powerful body of work that forces each and every one of us to question our own place in a culture that compels us to constantly judge, and be judged, by our appearance.