These Photos Take On Over-Sexualization By Showing The Mundane In The Nude

It's rare to see art that depicts nude bodies — particularly female ones — without eroticizing them. This convention is incredibly frustrating for many women. After all, the majority of our lives are spent not posing as sexual objects, but just going about our work and everyday tasks. That's why Sophia Vogel's nude photographs are so refreshing. Instead of trying to force her subjects' bodies into seductive positions or flattering lighting, she captures them in the midst of the mundane activities they'd do if there were no camera around, like sitting at tables or reading books.
The people Vogel photographs are not models but volunteers who come to her Berlin studio and chat before the shoots begin, Hello Giggles reports. Once they're comfortable, she has them do something that's part of their normal routine and photographs them fully clothed. Then, they recreate the same action nude, and she captures the exact same scene — minus the clothing. She posts the two versions side by side on her Instagram page to juxtapose them. What's striking about the nude ones is that though you can tell the people are naked, it's really the action that draws your eye's attention.
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By showing naked people acting the same way they would if they were clothed, Vogel is trying to demonstrate that nudity is no big deal. "Over the last couple of years, nudity has emerged from being one of society's taboos," she told Vice. "I love to present nudity in an aesthetic manner without any sexual context."
Another goal of hers is to challenge beauty standards by showcasing every kind of body. "We are observed and judged every day, and the fashion industry lavishes beauty ideals and criticism on us. We set high standards for ourselves," she said. "By presenting all kinds of different body shapes and natural postures, I would love to show that everybody is beautiful in their own way." As one fan wrote to Vogel, beauty's not the same thing as sex appeal — and as her work shows, it's not just in what we look like but also in what we do.