Dove just came out with a new video featuring the work of Gil Zamora, an FBI forensic artist, who draws women based on their descriptions of themselves and other people alone.
I realize that this was intended to be an advertisement, but it’s a powerful reminder of our own insecurities and thoughts as women (and men as well), and how we see ourselves. As a photographer I hear a lot of the frustrations a model may have about themselves in front of my camera, such as “my hair is too frizzy,” “my smile is crooked”, and it’s amazing to me when I didn’t ever notice those things in the first place.
I see these things in myself, and there are a lot of things I’ve wanted to change or “fix”. Hearing other people talk about what they don’t like about themselves reminds me that we all look at other people and want what they have, even though that person has their own insecurities as well. It’s so easy to tear ourselves down when we compare ourselves to other people and the standards of our culture.
But my job behind the camera is to see the beauty in other people, and I’m so grateful that I have learned to think that way. I want to make sure that I remember that we don’t have to be perfect to be beautiful, and it’s a much happier world to live in when you chose to lift others and ourselves up.
I don’t want to be a photographer that turns you into an airbrushed plastic model, I want you to still look like you when I’m done. But I will make sure that you look like you love being in your own skin, and that’s what really makes an image amazing.