His Body is a Language (WIP)

Photography + Illustration
+ Creative Direction

May - August 2022

- Work developed for residency ‘H- The Notion of Humanist Photography’, funded by CNA, Luxembourg.

- Branched to Master thesis, presented at Junior Research Design Conference 2022, Basel, CH

Mentors: Emma Bowkett, Naoise O’Keeffe

Model: Tristan Bartolini, Ashwin Vinod
Lighting: Ali Mohamed
Text: Nandini Tripathy
Support: Camille Bellmas
Location: Swiss Photo Club, Geneva

PRESS: Luxemburger Wort newspaper (19.01.2023)
The primary objective of a profile image, on a dating app, is to project a favourable impression within a very short span of time – a few seconds, or less. Whether or not one succeeds is determined by two factors primarily: the degree of attractiveness presented, and the degree of attractiveness perceived. 

What makes an individual attractive in a photograph? For both the individual and the spectator, it is most often a combination of physical attributes, grooming, and visual context. How a person looks, what they are wearing, how they are posing, and where they are located – all of these become broad brushstrokes that paint a picture that asks to be judged. It is a picture that tends to vary from region to region, and culture to culture, as witnessed in the dialectic between the profile images that follow, located in two cities situated more than 6,000 km apart – New Delhi, India and Geneva, Switzerland.

Capturing poses struck outdoors, at a gym, at a restaurant, and at a wedding, they focus in particular on the notion of attractive masculinity. They bear witness to how it is articulated differently against the two distinct socio-cultural backdrops, and how it is performative as much as it is internalised. In doing so, they ask you, the viewer, another question: How do you adjudge an individual attractive, based on a pose?

The research for this project uses a sample study of 126 profiles of cis-het men on the dating app Bumble, with 515 images analysed in total. The profiles were sketched out, instead of taking screenshots, to avoid privacy and consent concerns.

Ski ya later

Riding that wave

Walking the trails and trials of life

Come ski some waves

Pockets of jealousy

My pocket, you gawk it v1

My pocket, you gawk it v2

My pocket, you gawk it v3

My pocket, you gawk it v4

My pocket, you gawk it v5

It’s cuffin season 

It’s cuffin season

Besties for the resties

The Shah Rukh Khan pose


Wine & Dine

Food makes me happy

May peace be with you

My coat of pride

Protecting my masculinity

#IWokeUpLikeThis v1

Those dreamy eyes

#IWokeUpLikeThis v2

Pawsitive vibes only v1

Pawsitive vibes only v2

Your God-given Ed Sheeran

Your God-given Arijit Singh

Cross my legs like I cross my heart

Head and Shoulders

Intellectual thinker #Sapiosexual

Leaning on things like the patriarchy v1
Leaning on things like the patriarchy v2

Leg of dominance

Bikers gonna bike

Mirror, mirror on the wall

Mirror, mirror on the wall 2

Sun’s out, shades on


Wish you were beer


My eyes are on you always

My jaw, you’re in awe

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