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NEW GUARD: the changing face of beauty

15.08.2017 | Beauty , Culture , Fashion | BY:

The beauty ideal has remained shamefully homogeneous in recent history, but is it fair to say there’s a new mood afoot? If current trends in fashion and beauty casting are anything to go by, there’s an unprecedented appetite for diversity in the faces that make up our visual landscape: one that better reflects the complexity and nuance of the real world, where interest and authenticity trumps perfection.

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Beauty photographer Felicity Ingram captures this new mood in her work (pictured), and says a big part of the equation is in casting the right face, someone whose appeal lies more in their character than in their symmetry. She elaborates: “I got bored of clients and magazines telling me I couldn’t shoot a certain girl because they weren’t a ‘beauty’ model. Personally, I think this idea’s very dated. I’m more interested in shooting faces that I find interesting; girls with personalities that engage with the camera”.

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Similarly model bookers are riding the crest of this more inclusive movement, and seeing a shift in the way clients are responding to ‘unconventional’ models. As Steve Haynes, Head of Women’s New Faces & Image Division at Nevs Models explains: “2017 has definitely been a turning point for this, it’s been a bit of a domino effect. As an agent, if you don’t offer diverse talents then there’s no way of the clients booking these models, therefore how can the industry open up and grow in this area. I think once clients are presented with more unusual or alternative talent they can be enlightened and swayed into thinking outside the box. This is happening more and more as time – even the year- progresses.”

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Trends in social media have given rise to street casting, which is shifting the beauty paradigm into new territories too. Model Julia from Storm (pictured) explains: “street casting and Instagram have changed the rules of the industry and the opacity of the game is diminishing. I think the more human models become, the more human we want them to be, I really hope that trajectory is stable”. Where previously it was a top-down dictatorship of the beauty ideal, now there’s a shift towards a more democratic selection process, where the people choose what they engage with and what they find beautiful; and in 2017 this certainly feels a little something like progress at the very least.

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Shoot credits:
Models:
Jazzelle, Storm
Chantelle, Storm
Coral, Nevs
Razan, Storm
Julia, Storm 
Makeup: Siddhartha Simone, Julian watson
Makeup: Pamela Cochrane, Bridge Artists
Hair: Anna Cofone, The Wall Group 
Photography: Felicity Ingram, Visual Artists 
With special Thanks to BD Images

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