BEAUTY is not just in the eye of the beholder; it is in the captured soul and story of our older generation.
Canadian emerging photographer Arianne Clement has captured 13 stunning shots of centenarians from the Montérégie region of Québec.
She reminisces about the experiences, writing, "One thing kept occurring: every single woman I photographed wanted to groom herself to make sure she would look good in my pictures. This is how it became a story about beauty.
"I became interested in the efforts that these women put (or didn't put) into looking beautiful, and the challenges that they face in their old age. I asked them about youth, aging, feminism, sexuality, charm, appearance, love, and I documented their beauty rituals.
"Visiting Marie-Berthe, the woman in the first photograph, was an unbelievable spectacle. She likes to be the centre of attention and is willing to do about everything to make her audience burst out laughing. Every time I visited her, she told me funny stories, sang and danced. In her portrait, she is dancing in a sexy and provocative way for the sake of her audience (myself and two family members).
"To me, the third photo is particularly touching. Laure Provost, the centenarian in the picture, was very sick and weak but also very peaceful and serene. She didn't have the energy to move or talk, and even though she used to be a very stylish woman, I doubt she cared about the way she looked anymore.
"But even though Laure seemed distanced from the physical world, her daughter, Lise, continued to make sure that her mother looked good: that her nails and hair were done and that she had jewellery and lipstick on. She knew this used to be important to her mother and wanted to honour her. Since they couldn't communicate verbally anymore, these rituals were their way to stay close together.
"Through these portraits, I want to questions society's obsession with youth and beauty standards, and to give a voice to these women whose beauty is rarely acknowledged."