Nearly everyone must be familiar with the picture that opened the last decade of the 20th century. The 1990’s cover of the movie American Beauty with Mena Suvari spread over innumerable red rose petals with her essentials covered by the same. That iconic image from the movie has made many people long correlate that image with female beauty.
But, that image showed an idealistic notion of beauty, which has been excessively airbrushed since those days. People expect women to be extremely thin and yet somehow have all the curves at all the right places.
Women are made to conform to this unrealistic idea of mainstream beauty, and if they cannot keep up with it, they begin to feel like a failure, or rather as ugly. The world we live in now needs to realize that humans don’t come in a one size fits all policy. Every individual is different and unique, and beautiful.
In this particular photo series by the photographer Carey Fruth, the American Beauty classic image was re-imagined, this time with much more inclusivity and diversity. The photoshoot covers 14 different women who could be anyone amongst us. No, they are not supermodels and no, these pictures have not been airbrushed to hide their flaws. And yet somehow all these are just so beautiful.
The purple flowers in the background and all these confident women posing for the camera are enough. They have not driven themselves thin thinking about that perfect figure and they are happy how they are and this carefree smile adds so much to their beauty.
Even better, these women do not belong to the same racial or ethnic background. All of them are different from each other and this is such a refreshing change. Representation matters and I am so glad that an artist decided was brave enough to not narrow themselves to the conventions. These conventions don’t do anyone any good. They just set unattainable standards of beauty for women which take up so much of their mental and emotional strength. Not to mention the money it goes into fitting that standard of beauty. Hopefully, there are many more such projects in the future.