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Look at me!
Date:3/22/2011

that she was entering a transition period and feared that these life changes signalled "the beginning of the end."

In the phototherapy workshop she worked closely with her project partner to create images as she transformed herself from a grey, invisible old woman to a glamorous Joan Collins type. When she removed the Joan Collins garb at the end of the transformation and her partner kept taking photos, the resulting photos proved to Shirley that she was "gorgeous just as she was".

As a result of taking part in the project, Shirley said: "I am now more confident and accepting of how I look at this point in my life. That it is not what you look like but how you feel and how you express yourself. This was reflected in the photo's I had taken during the project I now feel that it is ok to have my photograph taken this is me at 57 wrinkles and all. I no longer need to be camera shy just because I am not as youthful as I once was."

Hermi: the politics of "slap"

Hermi is 85, she was born in Vienna and moved to Sheffield with her husband after the Second World War. On acknowledging her old age she says: "I know I'm 85 so I know I am classed as an old woman. But I don't really feel like an older woman, even when I'm hobbling about because my knee's got arthritis in it."

Hermi remembers being in a shop with her daughter and while her daughter was busy at the beauty counter, she moved away to look at the glasses and the person who was serving her daughter said: "She's wandering off, is that alright?": "I think she must have thought I had bloody Alzheimer's or something! She was concerned about this poor old woman! You can't get away from being old."

Working alongside professional photographer Monica Fernandez, Hermi posed for photographs which satirised the 'before' and 'after' photos that we are bombarded with in the media.

Commenting on people's dependence on cosmetics and enhancements of various kinds as
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Contact: Press Office
Pressoffice@esrc.ac.uk
Economic & Social Research Council
Source:Eurekalert

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