Photographer Captures the Painful 'Scars' Clothes Leave on Our Bodies (PHOTOS)

justin bartels impressionWe've all been at the grocery store, the office, a wedding, and felt ... uncomfortable. Maybe you're wearing heels that dig into your toes, shapewear that makes it hurt to eat or drink, or an ill-fitting bra that's cutting into you. But it's a sacrifice, because beauty is pain ... isn't it? That idea and its effects on women is something photographer Justin Bartels felt compelled to capture in a series he calls "IMPRESSION."


With his degrees in sociology and photography/imaging, Bartels tells us that he derives inspiration from everywhere -- people-watching and exploring "why people do what they do in society."

In 2010, he was spurred to develop and photograph IMPRESSION when he'd hear the same complaints from women he was dating during and after college -- all related to high heels, tight jeans, underwire bras, and uncomfortable undergarments. "I would pose the question as to why they wore uncomfortable apparel and shoes when there were other more comfortable options out there," he explains. "The responses I received typically came in the form of, 'I want to look this way,' or 'this is how women dress,' to 'I feel good when I look good.'"

At one point, Bartels dated a model who he says would wear tight-fitting clothing to "accentuate" her features, as well as high heels to make herself taller than just about any other woman there. "After seeing these articles come off, and the physical and visual proof of how uncomfortable these garments were, I was very perplexed as to why a women would put themselves through such torture," he says. 

Oh, the joys of being a guy!

As a way to tackle his bafflement, Bartels asked his model girlfriend if she'd allow him to photograph the imprints her wardrobe left on her skin.

Check out the powerful images, and what Bartels had to say about the "impression" his series has left on others.


Image via Justin Bartels

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