Lucy Hilmer is a photographer who has taken nude self portraits  each year for the last 40 years of her life, on her birthday. She takes the photos wearing only underwear, socks, and shoes. The act of being naked, she says, is in defiance of the prescribed definition of beauty applied to her body. Being a woman with a slim figure and classically appealing features, she found she wanted to define herself through these photographs, rather than accept the definitions of others.

It seems counter-intuitive at first to remove your clothes in photographs in order to redefine how you are perceived. If you stand nearly naked in front of a camera in a relatively neutral pose, and you are “beautiful”, chances are you will just continue to look beautiful in that photo. Still, for Hilmer it isn’t really about how others perceive her, it is about how she perceives herself. She looks beautiful throughout, as she is pregnant, as she ages, in whatever setting she’s in, because she is comfortable in her skin.

The portraits are well composed and creative. In one, Hilmer’s arm imitates the shape of a large driftwood tree beside her. In another, the dynamic composition makes her pose beside her equally naked husband (facing backward) comic but also epic against the tall trees in the background. (Via Lost at E Minor)

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Lucy Hilmer Has Been Taking Nude Self Portraits On Her Birthday For Over 40 Years appeared first on Beautiful/Decay Artist & Design.