A chrysalis is the protective casing that encloses and shelters the pupa stage of certain insects during their metamorphosis into adulthood. Similarly, our bodies can be seen as imperfect yet remarkable vessels that house our inner selves.

All the imperfections of the outer shell are a reflection of our humanity and individuality. They tell a story and reveal vulnerability. Marks of lived experiences, lessons learned, and personal growth challenge conventional standards of beauty and invite us to appreciate the beauty that exists beyond the surface, reminding us that true beauty is not about flawlessness, but about embracing and celebrating our uniqueness and individuality. However, just as an invader can infiltrate and take residence within a chrysalis, our bodies can unknowingly host an unseen intruder.

One of the inspirations for the project was the Japanese concept of Wabi-sabi, which values the beauty of imperfection and transience. It appreciates flaws, asymmetry, weathering, and irregularity. Perfection is transient, and it is through imperfections that stories are told, adding character to objects.

I’d like you to appreciate and celebrate the diversity and stories behind scars, imperfections, and flaws. It’s all about self-acceptance and recognizing beauty beyond conventional standards. Our flaws are like signatures that distinguish individuals from one another. They hold a unique beauty that goes beyond physical appearance, reflecting resilience, individuality, and personal growth.

In imperfection, we find uniqueness and authenticity, for it is the cracks and flaws that make us truly beautiful.

Golden Threads

Kintsugi (“golden joinery” or “golden repair”) is the traditional Japanese art of repairing broken pottery or ceramics with lacquer mixed with gold, silver, or other precious metals. Rather than hiding or disguising the cracks and breaks, kintsugi embraces them as part of the object’s history and enhances their visibility by highlighting them with precious metals.

The philosophy behind kintsugi is rooted in the principles of wabi-sabi, which embraces imperfections and the transient nature of things. It recognizes that breakage and damage are a natural part of an object’s life cycle and that they can be transformed into something beautiful.

Cracks are not signs of weakness, but pathways for light to shine through.

Glass Cages

Dr Peter Levine developed a therapeutic approach called Somatic Experiencing, which focuses on the body’s physiological and somatic responses to trauma and stress. Animals in the wild often experience and release the freeze response after surviving life-threatening situations. In humans, the freeze response can manifest as a feeling of being “stuck,” unable to act, or feeling disconnected from the situation. The freeze response can be seen as an adaptive mechanism in situations where fighting or fleeing may not be possible or effective. It can also occur in non- life-threatening situations, such as in response to stress, trauma, or overwhelming emotions. In these cases, the freeze response may hinder an individual’s ability to respond effectively or make decisions.

Pandora’s Keepsake

When you receive an unwanted gift, you have several options for handling it respectfully and responsibly:

You can consider regifting, donating or giving to charity, sell or exchange, repurpose, upcycle, incorporate it into a DIY project or keep it tactfully. In some cases, it might be best to keep the gift discreetly, especially if it was given by someone close to you who may expect to see it in your possession.

Sadly none of the above is an option when you have been gifted with bad genes.

Special thanks to:

Models: Jessi Athira, Julia Dlugosz, Olya, Sandra, Freya Svart

Makeup: Angie Anand, Harry Capdevielle