In amongst the juggle of of consulting, coaching, photos and PhD I've been catching up with Anna who is trying to gain some insights into the beauty problem. Now (perhaps always) an artist and illustrator, Anna is reflecting back on her career as a model and attempting to understand the impact of beauty on her life.
We are using photography as our method of inquiry - and this is a problem in itself because as we try to uncover some of the the less superficial aspects of Anna and her world she still looks conventionally, well, great... All of the fashion stereotypes begin to surface - a beautiful women with no make up... grungy girl with messy hair... scruffy chic... I'm sure you are starting to get the picture!
You might be curious about how beauty could be a problem at all. Anna describes how, from an early age, she was treated as different, special, and then how men would be (predictably) interested her as a sex object and women would take the unsympathetic stance of 'What's your problem? Just look at you....'
Of course, the sort of beauty that fuelled Anna's previous career is usually temporary; youth doesn't last forever and even models begin to change with age. So I guess that this transition, perhaps a fall from grace, might become the subject of our work. But at this stage we are simply improvising our way through the inquiry figuring out how photos might help understand some aspects of the issue and blind us to others.
The improv theme brings me back nicely to the Ian Sanders book Juggle which I've been enjoying as I have been tearing around the country. With short chapters like 'Enjoy living a blur' and 'Celebrate your multi-dimensional talents' it could have been written for me. But there are more challenging sections too such as 'Managing your identity' and Don't be a workaholic'..... Ah, yes... oops.
It's an easy, uplifting read which celebrates multi-dimensional careers - on that basis alone, it's worth a link in the resources section!