Second Skin photography at the Winter Center challenges beauty standards


Kaylee Rex

Arts and Culture Editor

Ashley Moog’s photography exhibit, Second Skin Photography features photos of mummified looking women. Taking a closer look at the photographs, it is clear that the women are covered in used makeup wipes.

Moog takes away the model’s face and body so the viewer feels the absence of the woman’s appearance. Society puts such an emphasis on women’s appearance. It is often considered their most important quality. Women feel the need to use makeup to avoid the discomfort and anxiety of not meeting superficial beauty standards.

She collected makeup remover wipes from women and then placed them over their faces and bodies. This represents the beauty ritual of applying makeup in the morning and removing it at night. Mummified by the makeup wipes, the stains left on the makeup wipes are, according to Moog, “a metaphor for the internal struggle with body image.” She explains, “The markings often feel violent reflecting the relentless, brutal thoughts that many women have about their bodies on a daily basis.” The makeup can only cover self-perceived flaws temporarily. Once the makeup comes off, a woman still has a destructive view of herself.

Her project, built on the remains of old makeup, hair, and stray eyelashes, exemplifies what many women put themselves through to ensure they don’t appear flawed.  All of the photos in the exhibition are untitled.

Ashley Moog’s photography gallery titled Second Skin is open in the Eckert Art Gallery until Oct. 6. The exhibit opened Aug. 29 and the reception and artist talk took place on Sept. 21. The gallery is free and open to the public.