Every woman is beautiful in her own way, and this message was brought to life with a powerful photo series titled Project: Self Love by New Jersey photographer Jess Fielder. She reminds us that “you don’t owe your prettiness to anyone” by capturing beautiful images of 17 women in all shapes and sizes.
They are dressed in black bathing suits and hold up signs with words that someone has once said to them about their bodies, which impacted their self-confidence negatively. “These women were willing to bare not just their bodies but a little bit of their hearts for this project,” Jess shared on her Facebook page.
The women, however, have a positive comeback to those comments on the back of their cards. “I loved the moment of seeing their faces and demeanors change when they held up the second card,” she says on her now viral Facebook post. “They are all beautiful. Period. I hope that for at least those couple hours, they knew it to be true.”
The professional photographer found inspiration for this project in a quote by Erin McKean, which states: “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.”
Here are some of our favourites from this viral post, which was published on 27 July, and has since been shared over 316,400 times and garnered more than 12,000 comments.