In the past, women have defied conventional beauty standards by going makeup-free or protesting Photoshop. Nineteen-year-old Hannah Altman chose something with a little more sparkle.
In her photo series “And Everything Nice,” Hannah substitutes women’s body fluids like blood, vomit and tears with glitter to highlight beauty expectations of the female body.
In an email to The Huffington Post, she explained the importance of using glitter and the message it sends.
“The excessive glitter is a key element in this series of photographs. The ceaseless shimmer of the subject matter is ironic because it is being projected onto the female body without their expressed knowledge. This represents society’s continual custom of, in a way, censoring the natural occurrences of the female body and turns what may be considered unladylike into something with more sparkle. The newer, shinier version of the female anatomy is in turn much more attractive and feeds into the idea of boundless beauty leaking from the female body.”
Hannah, who studies photography at Point Park University in Pittsburgh, published the photos on her Tumblr on Feb. 15. In 24 hours, the post had been reblogged and liked more than 130,000 times.
Of all the photos in the series, Hannah does not favor one over another. Instead, she recognizes how each image evokes a different reaction for every viewer.
“While I don’t have an overwhelming favorite, it’s interesting to think that everyone who views this series responds and relates to each image in a different and personal way. Each of the photos represents an issue that is both personal to each viewer, but universal to all women.”
Though it started as a project in a college dorm, the series sheds light on a greater issue. For Hannah, the project represents progress in the way we talk about physical appearance and gender expectations.
“Education is the first step in changing a society. Girls are manipulated through media in ways that aren’t always apparent. The continued circulation of this project means that the gender norms and the problems that are contained in gender inequality are being addressed in a serious manner.”
For more of Hannah's work, head over to HannahAltmanPhoto.com.