‘Love The Skin You’re In’ Art Project Confronts Our Obsession With Beauty


Society’s obsession with youth, beauty and idea that success and happiness are determined by external values can be a little frightening at times. The lengths we often go to try and live up to unrealistic standards is absurd. Plastic surgery, body wraps, creams, laser treatments, diets, starvation and the like are extremely unnatural aspects of human life.

British artist Oliver Jones decided to examine this obsession in close quarters in a new art project he created called ‘Love the skin you’re in’. it particularly focuses on the largest organ in the human body: our skin and the kind of things people are willing to do to achieve blemish-free dermis perfection.

“The image of flesh is one of the most abundant and influential cues in our modern day lives, yet due to its frequency and industries eagerness to reflect an alternate version of reality these falsities have the capacity within our perception to be accepted as the norm. It induces society to become familiar and accepting of an idealized image that is far removed from the everyday and has accentuated our narcissistic and vain traits prompting a pursuit of perfection or alternate reflection and leads to a shrouded image of reality,” he writes on his website.

Most of his work is centered around these ideals to challenge and counteract the messages we hear every day.

“My work is a retort towards the way this improper image of the flesh is advertised, manipulated and exploited,” he says, while viewing his projects as an attempt to re-advertise a more common and truthful image of flesh.

The ‘love the skin you’re in’ phrase is adopted from beauty brand Olay who used the slogan in a marketing campaign. Oliver used colored chalk pastels to create a series of images of male and female faces in various states of manipulation to show the kind of impact advertising has on us.

Just recently we wrote about New York artist Christopher Williams whose exhibit ‘The Production Line Of Happiness‘ re-imagined images you’d normally see in advertisements, but without any digital enhancement to give a more realistic aspect of what is being masked by the industry.

“We often forget or oversee that how we actually experience flesh in the everyday, in the mirror, from the supermarket shelves and through the routines we put in place to maintain or improve it, are far removed from [industry’s] portrayal,” Oliver told The Huffington Post.

“Today’s science, coupled with commerce that appeals to society’s vain traits, means that humanity no longer has to leave everything down to nature,” Jones told The Birmingham Post in June 2014. “We feel that we also need to be part of the design.”

The series is on display at the Gusford Gallery Los Angeles until October 25, and each image is accompanied by a popular slogan used in a beauty brand advertising campaign.

It’s about time all the ridiculous notions of beauty we have accepted for so long are being challenged on a visual and albeit visceral level. We can all relate to at least one of these images, but apart from the imagery, we should also take into account the message behind it all: beauty is not just skin deep.

See more of the images in the collection by clicking here, and take a loo at our favorites below. The image at the top of this post is titled “The best a man can get” echoing the Gillette razor slogan.

“3 Steps to Younger Looking Skin Pt. 3”


“3 Steps to Younger Looking Skin Pt. 2”


“Dramatically Reduced Lines” (Estee Lauder)


“You Can Shine” (Pantene)


“Take Off The Mask”


“Maybe She’s Born With It” (Maybelline)


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