Do I Measure Up?
photographs and text by
Candace Plummer Gaudiani
Between 1997 and 2000, I traveled the United States photographing the secretive world of professional and amateur body builders, with full press and backstage privileges at all events.
The body builders trusted me and we became friends. In this atmosphere of trust, we had intimate conversations and made nude images. Many told me their stories of struggles to look and be perfect since childhood and confessed awareness that they would never "measure up".
Their built bodies become both manifestations of the strength they seek and masks to hide the weaknesses they feel inside. These images seek to reveal what lies behind the mask. They give the body builders the license to acknowledge their inner lives and bring into focus the blurring between the public and private face...
Lens Culture featured some of Candace Plummer Gaudiani's work in the past. You can find her series, Forty Eight States, and interesting work by hundreds of other artists in our Archives.