With increased media use in our everyday lives, we are constantly being exposed to images of what our bodies should look like, what we're supposed to think, and how we're supposed to act. Being exposed to these images can have negative effects on how we perceive ourselves. I decided to investigate it's effects and transform them into images by asking my volunteers 3 questions.
What do you like most about yourself?
What do you dislike most about yourself?
If you could change something about yourself would you, and what would it be?
Immediately I was transformed from photographer to counselor. It was such humbling experience hearing people open up about their lives. From someone growing their hair out to cover a small birthmark, to another struggling with an eating disorder. Hair, height, weight, and addiction are just some of the issues people were struggling to overcome. One of the most interesting things I discovered, was that 70% of my female volunteers were self-conscious of their weight. Some girls wished they were thinner while others WANTED to be curvier. And let's not forget about all the men who were insecure about being shirtless in public.
Furthermore, when my volunteers were asked what they liked about themselves, it took them much longer to come up with a response. It was as if they had to rediscover their true beauty. Do images from the media have people thinking so negatively they don't know how to look at themselves in positive light?
LOVE YOURSELF, BE YOURSELF, and FREE YOURSELF.
Special thanks to all my volunteers for allowing me to turn your stories into images.