The term has always been a bit of a misnomer to me as it seems to imply that we are solely in control of determining our own sense of value or worth. That we alone get to raise or lower the bar. And yet, more often than not, it seems that others are setting our value for us. By the words they say. The looks they give. The questions they ask.
So how can we take that control back to some degree? How can we not go thru life in constant doubt and fear of the opinions and judgments others are forming about us? I wonder. And as a photographer, I wonder if I’m not propagating this thought. Am I not, through my captures, simply providing more opportunities for people to draw their shallow conclusions about others?
My good friend, Suzanne, has been wrestling with these questions for years. Growing up a ballet dancer just outside New York City, image was everything in an industry where your body serves as a billboard for your brand. And, as she puts it, it left her “feeling empty, vulnerable, wondering if my identity will ever not be based on how I appear.”
Today, she’s rewriting her story.
Last year, Suzanne started Badass and Beautiful, where she gets raw and real about her own struggles and strives to inspire others to do the same. I was fortunate to join her journey by capturing the images you see here and on her site.
Take a look at her work and then take a look at your self. Examine the issues in your life by looking them straight in the face.