Between The Gap: Of Thigh Gaps and Cellulite - A reflective essay about post-modern perspective of beauty

This blog article is in response to the #DefineBeauty ran on the luxurious Louis Vitton owned site NOWNESS.COM and #ImNoAngel ran on Instagram and Twitter campaigns which targeted many women around the world and gave basically two definitions of beauty skinny and fuller girls.

#ImNoAngel campaign

#ImNoAngel campaign

Feminists, anorexics and women generally are at war. Their war’s subject manner is beauty. What is beauty? What’s healthy? What’s unhealthy? Who decides what is beautiful? Clothing companies are also engaging in this war with targeting both sides depending on the season of sale and their target audience.

Victoria’s Secret Angels are probably a beauty goal for a lot of women and models. If the angels are beautiful that would be subjective to the observer. The problem with this beauty’s premise is that those models are 0.0000001% of the general population with their physical traits, you can’t change physical traits, well maybe with a surgeon.

Josephine Skyriver at Victoria's Secret Fashion Show 2013

Josephine Skyriver at Victoria's Secret Fashion Show 2013

Models in the fashion industry are usually 1.75 meters and anorexic. Meaning they live an unhealthy lifestyle due to the business’ standards. Some women are naturally skinny but lets assume that a good handful aren’t.

On the other side of the coin you have the pin-up scene and plus size models. Now they are categorized plus size due to them being bigger than the anorexics, duh. In my honest opinion beauty is mediated by a lot of factors being the media and personal and social perception of the world. What’s beautiful in Hawaii is considered disgusting in suburban America. What’s considered beautiful in the Bronx by the African American community is considered disgusting in Paris. Beauty differs from place to place and person to person.

Kareen Hill an Israeli model representing a flourishing pin-up scene in Israel.  Photography: Anastasia Shmuelov

Kareen Hill an Israeli model representing a flourishing pin-up scene in Israel. 
Photography: Anastasia Shmuelov

I’m no doctor, but both (anorexic and obesity) extremes aren’t healthy. Women just remember what you’re aiming for is healthy or corrosive, it’s your own body. The bottom line is do what you perceive as beautiful and healthy and ever don’t forget to be yourself even if your style isn’t style, it will be next season most likely.

Emilie Ekholm Axters a Danish model with thigh gapped hip body type.

Emilie Ekholm Axters a Danish model with thigh gapped hip body type.

Special thanks to Emilie and Kareen for providing pictures for this article. All photos are copyrighted to their respectful photographers (Offir Assayag and Ruben Hart) models (Kareen Hill and Emilie Ekholm Axters).

A Day with Rotem Lebel

If you’d catch a certain photographer working without a tripod, lighting and a MacBook you’d probably tell yourself how much of an amateur photographer said person is. Her name is Rotem Lebel a twenty year old from a suburb outside of Tel-Aviv and she’s one of Israel’s sharpest photographers in the high fashion scene and owns none of the above objects. This October I was fortunate enough to be on set with Lebel and several other talented fashion personas that make their vision come to life.

Photography: Rotem Lebel Styling: Moran Apter and Tamir Siman-Tov Makeup: Ela Ran

Photography: Rotem Lebel
Styling: Moran Apter and Tamir Siman-Tov
Makeup: Ela Ran

It’s 8AM and everyone is sitting in an apartment in Givatayim an outskirt of Tel-Aviv. The two stylists for the current set are Moran Apter and Tamir Siman-Tov, alumni of Shenkar’s fashion program. Around the floors and tables Harper’s Bazaar and Numèro magazines can be spotted in between the outfits which probably cost more than my college degree. While the camera equipment and outfits are being sorted the main attraction is being dolled up. Eden Paz a model from Yuli Group -an Israeli modelling agency- is being transformed into a Moschino like model by Ela Ran’s talented hands and MAC make-up. Extra value should be given to Eden since she’s a veteran. Yes, you read that right. In Israel it’s a law to be in the army and a lot of models face the decision whether to serve that law or to suffer the consequences like Bar Refaeli per say. From someone who’s served in the army, it’s pretty damn hard to maintain a figure or a thigh gap with army “food”.

Photography: Rotem Lebel Model: Nicole Shechter

Photography: Rotem Lebel
Model: Nicole Shechter

This specific photoshoot is a tribute to Moschino with overdone bright colors and shiny Tom Warrens. Through out the photoshoot Lebel communicated on a highly precise level with Paz and captured those timid yet appealing shots and it all felt like a non-cheesy Aqua video. The images do speak for themselves. What’s specifically appealing about Lebel’s work ethic is her commitment to the shot and literally showing the model what and how to do it. For example, there’s her trademark move and slant shot which is quiet hard to execute barefoot but she’ll guide the model how to do it in none other then six inch heels and won’t rest until she’s captured the right frame. While on set with Lebel she’ll need her space to get intimate with the model and make her feel at home. Lebel will bluntly tell the whole crew to take a walk or in her words “FUCK OFF” once they’ve invaded her set’s space.

Photography: Rotem Lebel Model: Shir Mizrachi

Photography: Rotem Lebel
Model: Shir Mizrachi

Working with Shir Mizrahi and Moran Apter, Lebel captures contemporary Israeli beauty through permanent features present on Mizrahi. The below is an example for Rotem’s extra sharp eye. Her feature with Mizrahi will be available on ACUTE’s next issue.

You can follow Rotem on Facebook and Instagram.