Photographer Petra Valenti and stylist Francesca Pinna present a photographic series starring Helen, a female fitness figure competitor in her 50s. Helen entered her first competition in April of this year and has been hooked ever since. When a sponsor asked her to undergo a breast augmentation in order to increase her competitive appeal she refused, preferring to compete on the basis of her natural, albeit extremely gym-honed, physique. Dismissing external pressures to look a certain way, Helen works out to make herself feel good and to achieve her personal goals, she isn’t an object on exhibition.
Valenti and Pinna wanted to explore the power of self-acceptance and confidence in today’s perfection obsessed world. The pressure to conform to a conventional, Instagram-approved metric of beauty can be deeply damaging, for which the antidote is people like Helen and their ironclad self-belief. With the help of props, provided by Preloved, Valenti and Pinna push the idea of constrictive beauty standards to the limit.