‘You Don’t Owe Prettiness To Anyone’: Striking Photo Series Goes Viral

by Jerriann Sullivan
Originally Published: 
Jess Fielder Photography

Photo series gives women a reminder that ‘you don’t owe prettiness to anyone’

A New Jersey photographer reminds us that “you don’t owe prettiness to anyone” with a stunning photo series that’s going viral. In just a few days the series has been shared on Facebook 285,461 times and brought in more than 10,000 comments and 133,000 likes.

Jess Fielder photographed 17 women as part of her series titled “Project: Self Love.” Each gorgeous lady wore a black bathing suit and held up a sign with something another person “said to them in their lives about their bodies that impacted their self-confidence negatively,” the photographer shared on her Facebook page. “These women were willing to bare not just their bodies but a little bit of their hearts for this project,” Fielder said.

The striking images are reminiscent of all the ridiculous beauty and body standards we put upon ourselves. They’re also a painful reminder of hurtful things we say to one another based on these unnecessary standards. The women’s willingness to share these comments is inspiring.

Then she had each woman write down a fact about themselves that had nothing to do with their physicality. ” I loved the moment of seeing their faces and demeanors change when they held up the second card,” she explained. “They are all beautiful. Period. I hope that for at least those couple hours, they knew it to be true.”

Fielder was inspired by a popular quote you’ve likely seen online but is always worth reading. Erin McKean wrote the beautiful sentiment saying, “You Don’t Have to Be Pretty. You don’t owe prettiness to anyone. Not to your boyfriend/spouse/partner, not to your co-workers, especially not to random men on the street. You don’t owe it to your mother. You don’t owe it to your children. You don’t owe it to civilization in general. Prettiness is not a rent you pay for occupying a space marked female.”

And in case you forget, these ladies have one final reminder of what your response can be to society’s beauty and body standards.

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