Documentary Photographer Anne Ackermann is the Edge of Humanity Magazine contributor of this photo essay. These portraits are from her project ‘Plastica‘. To see Anne’s body of work click on any image.
I produced portraits of women who had ‘plastica’ or plastic surgery in Rio de Janeiro.
It was important to me to show how medical enhancement has arrived in a developing country with serious problems, such as violence, inequality and an underfunded public health system. Since the nineties credit plans have made plastic surgery more accessible in the private sector, while public hospitals offer free or discounted cosmetic operations to what surgeons refer to as the ‘povão’, or common people.
The women in the pictures are normal women. Most of them work at low income jobs such as housemaid, waitress or telephone operator. During interviews I learned that for them physical beauty has become a force to improve their lives, to raise their self-esteem, gain power, control, social and economic success.
For me as a photographer it was important to show the women in an intimate situation and their post-operative bodies. Plastic surgery is a violent intervention and I preferred to show it as it is. Yet I aimed to capture the hope for a better life and the mix of vulnerability and confidence these women expressed after having surgery. Here lies the real beauty of these women to me.
Rio de Janeiro, 2009
By Anne Ackerman