Bravely baring it all: Photographer captures amputee war veterans posing naked and proudly revealing their injuries in powerful picture series
Michael Stokes has done a great service to our service members who were injured. Yet at the same time, I think he glamourises it to the point where people don't realise what they have to go thru on a daily basis just to live life. There are prosthetist appointments to go to; when the socket doesn't fit right, or the components aren't working right it can seriously affect how they live their lives. It's something that they will have to live with for the remainder of their lives. And these are just the ones who were able to be fitted successfully with a prosthetic device. There are many more who cannot wear a prosthetic device and cannot live independently.
And what of those that have suffered serious PTSD that cannot function in society?
Alex Minsky, and others, without their injuries, would be just another veteran. These men have something more than just the average veteran and their injuries though, giving them their 'celebrity' status and that is their looks.
I can almost guarantee you that the men in this photo shoot are well off financially. Probably doing better than your average working class stiff, even those who are already handicapped that are not veterans.
With these men and their injuries, the attention works both ways. They are using their looks, sculpted bodies and their injuries to gain financial freedom. Being a vet, you are already entitle to free health care, sometimes are eligible for early SS benefits and you get an extreme discount on a home and mortgage. All you need is income (like hiring a vet). The photographer and the pictured vets bring attention to wounded warriors and make an income at the same time.
The condition we have here is likened to Magic Johnson and his HIV diagnoses. He doesn't have the looks, but he does get paid speaking and or endorsement engagements that bring him income, not to mention the probable pension and or investments he receives from his days playing in the highly paid sport, basketball
Even with Alex Minsky's leg injury and prosthesis, I would still rather have his life than my own current, struggling one. Just because they are vets, gives them instant fame and notoriety anyway. Give them superior good looks (hopefully they come back with them) and now they get modeling contracts. The men (or women) who have had half their face blown off, or burnt, don't qualify for the same status, they are just another injured vet probably with severe PTSD and depression due to monstrous looks.
Alex Minsky doesn't look depressed or stressed at all, hes making money and loving the attention