Alina Nikitina About Photography And The Cult Of Slimness

A life 2023

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Alina Nikitina About Photography And The Cult Of Slimness
Alina Nikitina About Photography And The Cult Of Slimness

Video: Alina Nikitina About Photography And The Cult Of Slimness

Video: Alina Nikitina About Photography And The Cult Of Slimness
Video: Daddy Issues, Misogyny, and the Pinnacle of Male Privilege 2023, March

beauty - the word that most often appears on the covers of magazines and the concept with which we subconsciously measure everything around. Yourself first. At the same time, a single and unchanging idea of beauty has never existed - as our heroine Iris Apfel said, “in a society where there is one standard of beauty, something is wrong with culture”. We talked with five people of completely different professions and appearance, whose lifestyle or occupation is associated with reflection on the beauty of the body, and also asked them to take pictures for us in the degree of nudity in which they are comfortable. Our fifth heroine, photographer Alina Nikitina, talked about why photographers and lenses love thin people, how to deal with complexes and not be afraid to show your body.

Interview: Olga Strakhovskaya


Alina Nikitina


Why did you decide to become a photographer?

Throughout her childhood, my mother filmed my sister and brother, she liked to immerse us in some kind of fantasy atmosphere. I remember how we lived in Latvia in the old house of my great-grandmother, who was almost 90 years old: she played the guitar, although she saw almost nothing, we danced in dresses made by my mother, and my mother took us to Zenit. It was like the stories Sally Mann makes. I think it directly affected my inner world. Another kindergarten, where there were huge windows: all the lighting that I now use in projects is memories from my childhood. In addition, as a child, I constantly grimaced in front of a mirror, I could sit for hours and look at myself. At the age of 16, I started filming too - I just took my mother's camera.

Has your perception of yourself changed a lot?

I realized that I was beautiful, somewhere only 24, that is, only five years ago.

How did it happen?

I lost some weight. And repainted. I was dark blond, and when I dyed blonde and became brighter, men began to pay attention to me, much more than before, they began to pay compliments. And women too. Like many others, I depend on the opinions of others. I try to get rid of it and, I think, it works out - at least compared to how much I depended on the opinion of people at 21. Not to mention childhood, when the foundations of your self-perception are laid: you are criticized a lot and at the same time praised a lot - so that you form an ambivalent attitude towards your own appearance. You can strengthen the belief that you have a beautiful figure, but at the same time an ugly gait.

It pushed you to see the beauty in other people somehow sharply? Where does this incredible craving for beauty come from?

It seems to me that this is inherent in nature. There is a golden ratio - even when there was a cult of a full body, nobody canceled the proportions. It seems to me that when we see a perfect face, we immediately react to it - right down to narrowing and dilating the pupil. It literally makes me intoxicated, I become like a man who sees a beautiful woman, and I can just sit and listen to anything, swing in a chair. I am heavily influenced by beauty.

Photography really loves slimmer figures, smoother lines and classic proportions

Do you feel in your work that your ideas about beauty are now very narrow?

I go to photography courses, where the first thing they teach us is how to shoot models. How to shoot them as thin as possible, with as long legs as possible, turn them in some angle so that they look spectacular. Full hips, wide waist - it's all cut off. Photography really loves slimmer shapes, smoother lines and classic proportions. In fact, we love them in life, I do not live in a time when full bodies are sung, I was born in the twentieth century - today the cult of a slender body reigns. And yes, I myself depend on these very standards. My whole cultural background in the field of photography is built on such pictures: I like thinness, in me it was brought up by the same gloss. On the other hand, I really would like to sometimes masterfully be able to deviate from all these standards, fall in love with people on the set, regardless of their appearance, be able to emphasize their individuality, but so far this is not so easy for me.

In commercial orders and in artistic filming, I am always asked to make the hero more beautiful than he really is. Let's say you can unfold a fat girl in three quarters, thus emphasizing the bend of the waist, and the camera, which turns the picture into a flat one, will do its job - the stomach will look much flatter. In the photographs, we all look a little fuller: this is largely due to the fact that the photographic image is flat. Relatively speaking, a camera has only one eye - a lens, and it makes a simple one out of a complex picture. Imperfect. The trick of our perception of photography - if we talk about the bodily one - also lies in the fact that we also see this picture simplified by the camera with two eyes and, subconsciously, automatically complete it to three-dimensional.

Is that why most photographers like to work with a slender body?

Of course. It is, in a sense, blank, it is easier to create the images you need as an artist from it, it is easier to assemble the picture that you have invented in advance. Now there is an acute issue of revising modern beauty standards, which are largely based on the cult of models. An excellent attempt in most cases, but sometimes reaching the point of absurdity - I am categorically opposed to labeling harmony and the pursuit of it as a vice. Our life is so arranged that we have to consume a lot of everything that is not prescribed by nature for us: we smoke, drink, eat mountains of bread and sugar. Then our skin grows dull, cellulite appears, we get fat and so on. It would be great if everyone looked like on the island of the Amazons: athletic, fit, running, eating right. Even slender people need to play sports and be fit.


Does work affect your self-esteem in any way?

Looking during the shooting at almost perfect girls who are wildly shy of the camera only because of their internal blocks, you understand how such a critical and unjustified perception of your own body interferes with a normal life. Of course, after that you begin to notice the same problems in yourself more and work with them - just like you liberate the model on the set. Photography as a process makes you rethink your attitude to your own contrived imperfection - in fact, we are all beautiful, you just need to forget about barriers, love yourself more and become more harmonious in the end.

Are you most comfortable in the place of the model?

I love being photographed and I love taking pictures of myself, but it’s not easy, even though I’m cute. I can't say that I know my angles perfectly, but I have basic preferences. Of course, over the years my ideas about beauty change - I myself am not thin and I began to like fuller, curvy girls, simply because I want to love myself more. It’s not that I’ve forced it on myself, it’s a natural process. Plus, everything I've read about nutrition says that a healthy person should have the required percentage of subcutaneous fat.

Is it difficult to convince a person to give their appearance in the hands of a photographer? Especially considering that we all came up with our favorite angle and successfully exploit it in selfies

It is important to be able to communicate with people - to captivate before shooting with a simple but lively conversation, to laugh. From this, some girls even straighten their shoulders, because they begin to feel in a comfortable environment for them. But in order to go further, you need to tune yourself to the necessary mood - you need to be able to fall in love and get turned on by the heroine of the shooting. Intuitively, I came to the fact that tactile contact helps a lot. In any case, I touch the girl in the frame - I straighten her hair, clothes. The model has a personal space, a personal comfort zone, and I brazenly invade her - in fact, this also makes her more plastic. It's the same with men. I touch them even more, by the way.

You come to the desire and opportunity to film naked at the moment when you are completely

happy with my body

Does a person change a lot by taking off their clothes?

He looks more sincere. Everyone usually begins to squeeze their shoulders, hide their chest, feel defenseless. We live in Russia, where nudity is not encouraged - there is a taboo on sex, a taboo on nudity. Usually, when I shot naked women - not models - it was a gift to my husband. And it was a sincere desire, not for the sake of a man. They wanted to capture their beauty: "I am already 26, in two years I will look different, I want to capture it."

For the same reasons, I would like to be naked now. Well, when I still lose a little weight. You come to the desire and opportunity to shoot naked at the moment when you are completely satisfied with your body - it is very scary to show what you yourself consider imperfect. I had a very cool story: I and my relatives got into the company of a psychologist - and then I was wildly shy about my belly, which was overweight. As, in principle, and now. I once mentioned this, and the psychologist said - get on a chair and show your belly. It was literally a year ago, and I could not overcome the barrier and show my stomach to five close people whom I have known for a long time. And the moment I did it, overpowering myself in an hour, I stopped worrying about this part of my body.

How do you feel about the FurFur Girl section in the magazine that your boyfriend makes (Sasha Skolkov, editor-in-chief of FURFUR. - Ed.), And which, as I understand it, you tried to shoot?

I avoided filming this column because it is difficult for me to sell vulgar sexuality in a girl. Sasha explains that in the genre of erotic photography it is interesting to destroy templates, but few people know how to do it. A good example is the very beautiful shooting of Masha Demyanova: it was not vulgar, sensual, and there is some kind of story in it, there is a girl's personality. Girls shoot more gently, you can see it right away. Guys shoot like porn, using rougher images - stockings, that's all. Men want a frontal and direct effect, while women want foreplay. When I was filming this section, poorly aware that it was not necessary to make vulgar pictures, I tried to feel in myself some kind of greasy man. I felt like my balls had grown hairy. This is not my photograph, I do not take it like that.

But I am in any case for nudity within acceptable limits. It's the same process of finding love for yourself - why not turn it into training? I really want there to be less superficiality in the perception of beauty. So that people can sit naked around the table and not be embarrassed at all. I am for this hippie approach. This is the path to liberation, the path to self-love.

To show, how the heroes see themselves

we invited them to take a self-portrait

The photo:

Alina Nikitina


Lyuba Kozorezova


Olga Sedneva


Anna Shafran

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