The idea that women will become invisible when they reach middle age isn’t so much a universal truth but a veiled threat—"a kind of campfire story," as the writer Kristen Roupenian puts it in the foreword of Midlife, a new book by Elinor Carucci, who took the discomfiting photo that accompanied Roupenian's viral short story Cat Person. But there is truth, she continues, to the fact “signs of aging in women are treated as though they ought to be invisible.” Suffice to say, in Midlife, that isn't the case: Carucci captures the inevitable unapologetically—and so effectively that one wonders why she ever would apologize in the first place. In a different context, photos of pubic hair and mammogram stickers might be jarring, but here, they're simply closeups of Carucci's portrait of her personal life, made up of scenes like her husband seated at the kitchen table, using his laptop sans shirt. The photos’ titles, too, are refreshingly straightforward; My Uterus, for example, looks exactly what it sounds like—Carucci took it after a hysterectomy—and Can I Still Hug My Son Naked features the titular embrace. Take a closer look at the series, here.
Originally Appeared on W