Recruiting mostly women and a few men of various sizes and shapes, Hagen photographed her models in two separate poses. In the first frame, her subjects stand in conventionally sexy positions, usually accentuating the curves they themselves deem acceptable while covering up the "unattractive" sections they wish to hide. In the second frame, the same models were asked to strike an unflattering pose; to let their bodies fall into postures we don't usually see in the glossy pages of magazines, regardless of how unsexy it might seem.
"'Illusions of the Body' was made to tackle the supposed norms of what we think our bodies are supposed to look like," Hagen pointed out in an email exchange with The Huffington Post. "Most of us realize that the media displays only the prettiest photos of people, yet we compare ourselves to those images. We never get to see those photos juxtaposed against a picture of that same person looking unflattering."
If I was in a smarter mood, I would post some of my own interesting thoughts about the essay, but for now I'm just going to leave this here in lieu of a NSFW photo from the project: