Photographer Aleksandra Kingo’s ‘Spa Days’ editorial is at once dreamy and unsettling. Her series of fake advertisements are a satirical send-up of the some of the more bizarre beauty regimes propagated by the media and cosmetics industries. Drenched in vivid colour and filled with humour, the images reflect what she sees as a growing sense of insecurity within our culture.
“‘Spa Days’ is our reflection of the way women nowadays can feel overwhelmed by the amount of controversial information on beauty standards and the pressure of getting a certain “look” fast,” the Lithuanian-born, London-based Kingo told Konbini.
“We also thought of all the viral challenges promoting impossible standards, like Kylie Jenner lip one, or the recent A4 waist challenge. So, we have decided to take these ideas to the point of absurd and spice them up with irony.”
Based on the beauty regimes and contradictory advice purported by women’s magazines since the 1950’s, Kingo’s images turn common rituals on their heads. Under her gaze, eyelash curling gets dangerous when the curler is replaced with a gold-handled pair of scissors, at home teeth bleaching becomes toxic when the whitener is substituted with Tipp-Ex, and self-tanner is replaced with orange paint applied directly onto the skin with a paint-roller.
Aided by art director Gem Fretcher, stylist Natasha Freeman and set designer Amy Friend, Kingo’s ‘Spa Days’ images take inspiration from internet meme culture and speaks to a generation high off of the media and internet-fuelled craze of fitting the mould of the archetypal Beautiful Woman.
“The main message is that we should not take every [piece of] advice too seriously and try to be healthy and happy rather than aim to look like certain celebrities or online memes,” Kingo says. “It simply isn’t always safe – as you can see in my shots!”
You can see more of Kingo's work on Instagram.