This Eye-Opening Photo Series Shows What Happens When We Constrict Our Bodies

Too-tight clothes can take a toll.
Skin, Shoulder, Joint, Monochrome, Muscle, Black, Monochrome photography, Black-and-white, Back, Trunk,
Justin Bartels

Tugging at bra straps that dig, teetering in strappy high heels, sucking in for our skinny jeans...we get dressed every day thinking that certain discomforts are just a given. But in a powerful new series, photographer Justin Bartels illustrates the very literal marks our too-tight clothing leaves on our bodies, ultimately implying that those aches and pains might not really be worth it:

Bartels was inspired to create the project, entitled IMPRESSION, based on some rather unexpected observations of the women he dated in college: He found that when many of them took their clothes off, red marks and imprints remained. "It interested me that so many women would wear binding or uncomfortable clothing to either impress or attract others, or for their own self-esteem," he told Refinery29. It's a sad truth, and yet one we tend to overlook—which is silly, because there are countless ways to look and feel sexy without compressing and conforming our bodies to restrictive clothing. (Though, on the flip side, there are also plenty of comfortable clothes that leave marks upon removal, much to our surprise.)

"I hoped this series would reach women, and inspire them to question what they wear and why they wear it," Bartels continued to Refinery29. See all of Bartel's poignant photos below:

You should also check out:

21 Women Who Expertly Shut Down Their Body-Shamers

Kate Bosworth on Body Shaming: "Words Can Really Hurt People"

7 Dangerous, Weird, and Completely Ineffective Ways to Lose Weight

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