Dramatic Nude Photos Show How Your LOOKS Change Based On How You FEEL

What are your own thoughts saying about you right now?

This Photo Series Shows How Emotions Affect Our Bodies And The Way Others See Us Gracie Hagen

Look at this woman’s body. Look at her in terms of the first picture and how clearly they express her self-esteem, self-appreciation and confidence.

Then look at the second one and see her posture of self-deprecation.

Which one do you relate to?


Chicago photographer Gracie Hagan likes to play with themes of emotion and perception in her work, in a nude photo series entitled “Illusions of the Body”, she makes it clear that our bodies take on different forms of self-expression depending on the way we carry ourselves.

And in my opinion, these images of women prove how easy it can be for your body to project to others how you are feeling at any given point in time.

In this series of paired photos, the subject is a naked model in a flattering or confident pose while next to a contrasting picture of the same woman is in an uncomfortable or awkward pose.


The differences are extreme but also telling.

The effect our posture plays in the appearance of our body has been demonstrated by way bloggers who took to the net-o-sphere to show in an effort to how those amazing ‘before and after’ photos we see in the weight loss ads have been manipulated to give the appearance of a seemingly dramatic change in body shape and firmness when, in fact, those photos were most likely taken the same day with the model who was simply told to hold his or her body in such a way that their body looks 10 lbs heavier or 10 lbs lighter.

Granted Gracie Hagen’s photos are intentionally exaggerated to make their point, but are they really such an exaggeration?


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The next time you catch your reflection in a full-length mirror or a store window, notice your posture — the position your shoulders are in, what your resting face looks and feels like — and see if it matches what you’re feeling.

Try asking yourself questions like these:

  • How does noticing how you are unconsciously carrying your body make you feel?
  • What would you assume about you if you were a stranger passing you on the street?
  • Do you seem open?
  • Do you seem closed-off?
  • Are you giving off the impression you don’t want to be approached?
  • Do you seem at peace?
  • Do you seem happy?
  • Could this be how you carry yourself always or has today/this week/this month, etc. or a particular event been influencing you?
  • Could this be representative of how you feel about yourself?

How we feel about ourselves determines to a great extent how we carry our body.


Therefore our body projects to the world (and back to us) how we feel about ourselves.

Being unconscious of how our mindset affects our carriage is like leaving the kitchen faucet perpetually running. You don’t see the damage being caused because it seemingly isn’t affecting your day-to-day life. All that seems to happen is that the water continues to go down the drain.

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But oh... when you get the water bill you see the price you pay for that blissful ignorance is high! And not only that but later when there is a drought, that wastefulness has irresponsibly depleted the reserve of water for everything and everyone.

This is how your psyche suffers from your unexamined negative thoughts.

You know you’re thinking negatively, but you don’t do anything about it for whatever reason. Unattended, those negative thoughts can cost you your self-esteem, and left unabated they will wear you down to the point where you no longer have the stamina or comportment to turn it around.


I invite you to take a look at the photos and to perhaps visit the whole series. Then the next time you catch your own reflection or become aware of how your body is holding itself, take in what you notice and consider if it matches how you feel about yourself.

Ask yourself how you might be physically representing your negative or positive thoughts about yourself to the rest of the world on a daily basis and if that is something you would like to be more aware of?

When you begin to pay attention to what you are noticing, you will become more aware of the cause and effect of these thoughts on your life, your mind and your body.


With this awareness, you can choose whether or not you want to make some changes.

Choice is the gift here.

Taking back your freedom of choice regarding how you think and feel about yourself allows you to control your own power rather than letting external factors such as media, advertisements and the judgments of others shape the container in which you exist.

YOU get to choose how YOU feel — and that small change can make all the difference in the world.

So… Go forth and notice!

A singular voice in the sexual health community and a body acceptance thought-leader, Elle Chase is a sought after sex education/sexuality expert for such outlets as TODAY SHOW on NBC, Glamour, Cosmopolitan, The Huffington Post, Men’s Health and Buzzfeed. Chase is also the creator of the award-winning feminist sensual images blog, LadyCheeky.