The Beauty Myth Project began as a vague notion: to create content to counter the proliferation of filtered, fake and unattainable ‘beauty’ that bombards us everywhere we look. I wanted to produce a body of work that a younger generation of girls and women, and eventually my daughter and my friends’ daughters, would see in their Instagram feeds as an alternative. It scares me to think of the impact of social media on these young people, the “look at me” generation, with so much emphasis on their appearance and so much value placed on ‘likes’.
The women I know and love are doers, working hard and making a difference in the world. They maintain careers, care for families and find joy in the little things.
From a fairly simple concept, the Beauty Myth Project has taken on a life of its own. It has connected me with so many inspiring women, who care enough and trust enough to share their deepest thoughts and their truest selves with me. I feel like this project is whispering to me, “You’ve got work to do!”, it’s just so important.
The sessions usually take an hour or so, covering topics to do with self worth, objectification, beauty and everything in between. I record the conversation so I can later distill it into a few paragraphs, which is shared alongside the portrait on Instagram.
I choose to keep it collaborative because, unlike with a regular client-photographer dynamic, I can experiment and work with the subject with no pressure or expectation. This gives me true creative freedom. Many of the women I photograph don’t even have a recent photograph of themselves, let alone one that they love, so it’s lovely to be able to reciprocate with the digital images as a way of thanking them for being involved.
My main source of income comes from branding photography, and now that I have a growing body of work with the Beauty Myth Project, I have found that brands with an authentic, inclusive ethos, and an often eco or female client base, have begun to seek me out to photograph their campaigns.
Below are links some of the images to date. I’ll keep updating as I shoot more, but you can follow along on Instagram @thebeautymythproject
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If you are interested in sitting for the project (there’s no fee) and live in or around Brisbane please get in touch.
New work for the project can be found here on the blog