STEFDIES is a photographic performance art series that celebrates the beauty of natural and manmade landscapes, through an anti-selfie lens. Each image satirizes both the fascination with female perfection and the obsession to capture the perfect, grammable photo.
The series spans ten years of creator Stephanie Leigh Rose’s life and is ongoing. In this regard, it is partially biographical, as the locations map her migratory lifestyle. It questions how we document our journeys and destinations, and for what reason? To remember the location; the memories associated with that place or our appearance at that moment in our life?
Our current epoch is saturated with manipulated images of female bodies. Across advertisements, entertainment and celebrities’ social media pages, it’s hard to find unedited images of women. Countless studies have drawn links between exposure to artificially enhanced images and a lowered sense of self esteem in the consumer, both in men and women. STEFDIES is purposefully presenting the image of an unedited body, in a variety of traditionally unflattering poses and angles. It intends to widen the variety of images being paraded on social media and help to normalise seeing real female bodies with flaws.
Additionally, STEFDIES embodies the literal impact of humans on the Earth. After all, it’s hard to ignore our reliance and proximity to the Earth when you’re lying face down on it. The series intends to elicit questions from the viewer, including: what is my impact on the natural world? By not having a face for our eyes to be instinctively drawn to, the portrait series directs our attention to the beauty of the surroundings, whether that be man-made or organic. Should we celebrate both? Are the manmade structures further evidence of our irreversible influence on the planet or our commendable attempts to mirror nature’s own works of art?
The series aims to provoke discussions on mortality; the function of modern photography; the obsession with the female image; our impact on the natural world and our instinctive desire to leave a mark.