No Body’s Perfect with Rankin and Alison Lapper

I was so please my husband has subscribed to a proxy server and I can now view BBC’s iPlayer documentaries. I sat enthralled, watching No Body’s Perfect with Rankin and Alison Lapper the other day.

Together Rankin and artist, Alison Lapper explore how photography, social media and the selfie culture has affected people’s sense of identity. Lapper was born without arms and shortened legs, a condition known as phocomelia. Lapper paints using her mouth and uses her own body as her inspiration.

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Lapper interviewed four subjects and got them to agree to come for a photographic session with Rankin. The subjects were a gentleman who had lost his leg to cancer at the age of 18, a beautiful young girl suffering from body dysmorphia, a vibrant woman suffering from alopecia since the age of 11 and a young man suffering from neurofibromatosis. All the subjects had various hang-ups about their bodies.

Rankin’s working method was a joy to watch. He photographed his subjects in a very empathetic manner, gradually building up to the point where they confronted their insecurities, and in most cases realised they were all beautiful/handsome and that they did not have to conform to the Western dictates of the “perfect” body type.

Bibliography

No Body’s Perfect with Rankin and Alison Lapper (2016) [television programme online] Pres. Ranking and Alison Lapper. BBC iPlayer.  Available at: http://www.bbc.co.uk/iplayer/episode/b0824cwc/no-bodys-perfect-with-rankin-and-alison-lapper?suggid=b0824cwc (Accessed 13 November, 2016)

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