Proud2Bme | It is Time to Redefine the Standards of Beauty

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It is Time to Redefine the Standards of Beauty

By Sydney Quick--I would be lying if I said I haven’t used filters or Photoshop before posting a picture on social media. How could I not? From a young age, we are taught not only what is beautiful, but what is accepted. Social media perpetuates these norms by indicating whether or not you are accepted by the mere click of the “like” button. 

This world of “accepted” beauty is one that fashion photographer Rick Guidotti is all too familiar with, as he spent many years photographing supermodels. Having the eye of an artist, however, Guidotti saw beauty everywhere and quickly became fed up with being constrained to capturing only one type of beauty. One afternoon in New York City, Guidotti saw a young woman who changed the way he captured beauty forever.

This young woman had long white hair, light eyes and pale skin. She had a condition known as albinism: a genetic mutation that decreases melanin production in the skin, hair and eyes. Guidotti soon learned that this stunning young woman and her genetic condition were not considered beautiful by the standards he worked in, but rather diseased and burdened; A notion that was supported by researching the disease and finding photographs of young men and women looking sick, sad, and hidden by black bars covering their eyes.

After seeing these images, myself, I realized that it's no wonder we’re afraid to show our true selves to the world. We have been taught to fear what is “different,” and if we possess those qualities we are somehow deemed unworthy of being acknowledged as a human being. Giving life back to these young men and women is something Guidotti fights for with every photo he takes.

The documentary “On Beauty” follows Guidotti’s journey to challenge the norms he was once confined to and the fight for redefining the standards of beauty through his lens. The film also discusses Guidotti's non-profit organization, Positive Exposure, which uses media to expose the beauty of many individuals with genetic, physical and behavioral differences. No makeup. No Photoshop. Just natural, authentic and raw beauty.

Guidotti’s work allows us to enter his life in a way that is unbelievably eye opening to a world that many don’t know exist. His ability to capture the life of these individuals truly gives new meaning and perspective to beauty. His passion for change and acceptance is incredible to witness and it gives me hope that change is possible.

About this blogger: Sydney lives in Calgary Alberta and attends Mount Royal University. She is majoring in Psychology and Minoring in Women's Studies. She plans on getting her master’s degree in counseling and would like to specialize in eating disorders. She volunteers at the Women's Center and spends her spare time hiking, doing yoga or finding new music to listen to.

Also by Sydney:

Proud2Cook Indian Dahl (Vegetarian)

Images courtesy of On Beauty/Positive Exposure

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Proud2Bme is an online community created by and for teens. We cover everything from fashion and beauty to news, culture, and entertainment—all with the goal of promoting positive body image and encouraging healthy attitudes about food and weight.

This site was developed in partnership with Riverduinen and made possible by generous contributions from JPMorgan Chase, Globant, the University of Delaware, and The Hilda & Preston Davis Foundation.

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