Bodies Altered in Pursuit of Beauty

A compelling photoessay from the NYT.

“The worldwide pursuit of body improvement has become like a new religion,” says photographer Zed Nelson. “I imagined the project in some way like a body of evidence, perhaps for a future generation, to see a point in history where the abnormal became normal, or at least normalized.”

Collectively, Mr. Nelson’s photos show a small world, bound together by insecurity, with an almost pathological will to “improve.”