Hot new beauty trend alert! Cut your eyelashes with scissors to achieve a more manageable length. Forego a fake tan and paint your skin orange instead. Want whiter teeth? White-out correction fluid, duh. These might sound ridiculous, and that’s because they’re fake beauty treatments dreamt up for an eye-catching photo series called Spa Days.
With the help of art director Gem Fretcher, stylist Natasha Freeman, and set designer Amy Friend, photographer Aleksandra Kingo captured these images satirizing the lengths we go to meet impossible beauty standards. Critical norms perpetuated by the beauty industry, Spa Days is like a series of fake advertisements—absurd and uncomfortable, yet not so far off from images made by real companies. They’re also intentionally similar to internet memes.
“Inspired by Internet culture, from the dark circle glitter meme to the devastating results of the Kylie Jenner Lip challenge, the project is a satirical exploration of the bizarre world of beauty regimes,” Kingo tells The Creators Project.
“These beauty rituals, some real and some invented, are a reflection of the growing sense of insecurity in our culture. We are often left overwhelmed by the controversial and contradictory information, which dominate the pages of women’s magazines and inches of blog content,” she continues.
Between the bright, contrasting color palette—a nod to neo-pop—and surreal imagery like a lettuce bra, raw fish face mask, and superglued eyeball implants, this series makes a serious impact. See all the photos below.
Find out more about Aleksandra Kingo on her website.