Issue: 01/2019
Author: Maja Tabea Jerrentrup, Ajeenkya DY Patil University 

In (amateur) model photography, it is very popular to stage women close to or in water. This motif refers to mermaids that can be distinguished into various categories, the gentle “Meerjungfrau” and the dangerous “Nixe”, as well as the iconic “Ophelia” who is a.o. associated with an aesthetic way of dying. All these figures are captivating through their beauty, but also include ambiguity. Embodying them can help the model to articulate inner conflicts by visualizing them and acting them out. Further, it helps to overcome the own body by taking the often challenging effort to play the figure, thus to become something different. The physical effort to pose in the water add to this effect that was described by (hobby) models as “healing”.

Keywords: Photography, Femininity, Corporeality, Identity, Psychological Well-Being

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