Photographer Carey Fruth is capturing what it truly means to be beautiful in America with a new photo series highlighting the diversity of American beauty. Taking inspiration from the famous scene in 1999’s American Beauty – the one where Kevin Spacey’s character fantasizes about his daughter’s BFF – Fruth gathered 14 women of all shapes, sizes, ages and ethnicities to pose in a bed of lilac petals to show that American beauty comes in more than one form. It’s not just the white, blonde, thin option we’ve been presented with in popular culture. You can find it in ordinary and not-so-ordinary women, even those who deviate from the mainstream’s narrow standard of what is attractive.
The women Fruth chose to pose for the project are from all walks of life though she says many are women she met through body positive and burlesque communities in San Francisco. Though she says her project is to celebrate the diversity of beauty in America, she does realize that her pictures can attract criticism. “I know that a lot of people may say that I am just perpetuating the obsession with women’s appearance, especially because I am creating imagery inspired by images whose audience was originally the male gaze,” she said in a statement. “However, for me, I see it as a way to take back the power. My models get to choose how sultry they want to be, they get to decide who sees their images. And I think by showing these women that they can be gorgeous bombshells whenever they want gives them a sense of freedom.”
Check out all the images from the gorgeous photo series in the slideshow below. (more…)