Have you ever been in the situation where somebody told you they really liked your nose, or your neck or your hair and you thought: “WHAT? It’s the part I actually dislike most about my body.”
We have a certain perception of ourselves and our appearance. Influenced by our biography, our family and friends and also by the city we lived in. For example, I did not like my skin color until the day I moved to Berlin. While growing up in a city in the east of Germany, my skin tone was always standing out in a crowd. And most of the time not in a positive way. In Berlin on the other hand, strangers, friends, and lovers did not seem to mind my color. Not at all.
This perception of ourselves influences of course also the choice we make in the photography that should represent us. Especially in online dating, pics are the crucial part of storytelling. And even if you don’t want to upload pictures of yourself that look completely fake, you also want to show the best part(s) of you. Making the choice of the perfect picture always a bit tricky.
Friend and Berlin-based Turkish photographer Eylül Aslan was fascinated by how our picture selection for our online profiles is influenced by our self-image. For her book Trompe L’oeil she met over 40 men through Tinder and asked them what part of their body they liked and what they disliked most. After that, they had to ask her the same questions regarding her own body. The result of this social experiment is a book colored in all kinds of flesh and skin and full of physical intimacy between strangers.
While having a look at the pictures you really wish to have been invited while the tinder-model and the photographer strip of clothes and take pictures of each other. Like usually you take pictures to get a date and not at a date right? To be fair and square all men knew that they where part of a photo project. And this openness for such a crazy intimate experience is probably something you can only find in Berlin.