Daily Paper brilliantly explores human beauty standards through alien beauty in a new campaign.
Shot by Amsterdam based photographer Lois Cohen and styled by Indiana Roma Voss, the end-of-season ‘Alien Luv’ editorial seeks to redefine our perceptions of alien species through the topics of family, love, and community. With the aid of makeup artist Kathinka Gernant, Cohen imagines an alien race that has become integrated with earthlings. In simple portraits she captures this new social community in its various combinations: alien lovers, human mothers with alien daughters, inter-species children. Cohen treats all her subjects with the same sensitivity and care: alien love and human love look the same. Voss’ smart styling work goes a long way to show how the cultures have integrated and borrowed elements from each other.
A short film by Folkert Verdoorn imagines the emotional struggle behind the process of adapting to life on Earth. Beautiful, intimate shots of the characters from the photography campaign capture the everyday lives and love of humans and aliens, while a voiceover from an alien character narrates his story and his feelings about living among humans. It is certainly humorous, but in a deeply moving way: this “alien” professes a profound human need to love and be loved. The film ends with a powerful note of optimism: “But I’m positive,” says our narrator. “Harmonization will come. It will come.”
The campaign is a deeply beautiful and incredibly smart way to address contemporary and eternal issues of race, culture, and acceptance. The tension of human beauty standards and alien beauty points to the subjectivity of beauty, and how our definition of physical attractiveness changes over time and between cultures. It asks whether humans can learn from our past mistakes and shift our consciousness to love one another and create a better future for all. This question feels especially important at this moment in American history. The system of power in the United States highly values black culture but not black bodies and lives. This is a cultural dissonance; we are out of harmony. Daily Paper illustrates all the pain and beauty of working towards harmony, gives us hope that we will get there, and assures us that it will be the most beautiful thing this planet has seen.
Brand Creative Director | @loisycohen & @indianaromavoss Photographer | @loisycohen Models | Amber van Oirschot, Reilly Do Rosario, Imani Selina, Aucilia Do Rosario, Ottawa, Le Chayno, Berber Bruessing & Philip van den Bosch Stylist | @indianaromavoss Hair | @sikovanberkel Makeup | Kathinka Gernant Agent/Producer | @celinebrill at Cake Production Manager | @victorgriffioen Production Assistant | @nikedolman Photography Assistant | @hyungbalkema Stylist Assistant | @leawilbrand Special Effects/Prosthetics | @toki_made Makeup Assistant | @romy_legger Hair Assistants | @patrickburhenne & Isa Hinloopen
FILM Written and Directed | @fjverdoorn Based On An Idea By: @loisycohen & @indianaromavoss DOP | @boasvmb Music: @camillofiorito Voice Over | @indianaromavoss Producer | @celinebrill & @leviwilbrink Production Company | @cakefilmandphotography SXF | Becanti Wijnbergh & @boasvmb Grading | Compound Sound Design | @freekv Cast | @reillyfreemn, @imaniselina, Aucilia Do Rosario, @ambervanoirschot, @ottawakwami