Photographer: Rui Jun Luong
Female Model: Esther Maria Henriëtte
Makeup Artist/Hair Stylist: Marit De Man
Be proud of who you are and own it! For this shoot, we focused on body positivity. With a small team, we worked out this concept, makeup artist Marit de Man, model Esther Maria and photographer Rui Jun Luong. We decided to create a relaxed and laid back casual look, so we chose Esther’s cute apartment for the location. A small but thoughtful safe environment. We all never did this kind of shoot before so it was all a new but amazing experience, and super fun!
We should all feel good in our own skin and body. Especially since social media is a huge part of our lives for a lot of people. We see picture-perfect influencers everywhere. On the tv, magazines, ads on the streets, billboards, busstalls but also social media. They all look like models or they are models. It can be harmful to a lot of young girls and boys and think they have to look like that as well to fit in. There is still not enough representation in the media. The media still looks the same since it all started, but slowly it is changing and there are more people of color, and more different body types used.
This shoot is very important to me because in my work I stand for diversity, with my art I want to show that everyone is beautiful how they are and they don’t have to change a thing. It’s really what’s in the inside what counts.
I never had any representation when I was younger so I want to change that for people who think the same. I didn’t want to have these Asian eyes and be Asian anymore because I was ashamed of how I looked and who I was. When I look back, I think it’s really sad that I ever thought like that. I was bullied for my looks and just who I was. I never did anything wrong, so I never really spoke up. But when I did no one really listened. They just didn’t care how I felt which hurt me so much.
I’m happy I have the ability to be part of a change, to photograph and work with these beautiful people. I hope there will be change and no one would feel horrible or ashamed when they look at themselves.
Marit: This was such an empowering shoot to do. As a make-up artist, I’m always changing the way someone looks. Even when I’m doing a natural look, the person still looks different. The way beauty standards have been set throughout the last decade, this difference in appearance is considered beautiful. Even though I love the boost in confidence that make-up can give us, you shouldn’t feel like you are less of a person when you are walking the streets without your mascara and lipstick. Seeing Esther rocking her outfits, her body, herself- you can see she does not depend on the make-up to feel amazing. And it’s this self-acceptance and self-love that can really take a make-up look to the next level.
Photography Showcase – Body positivity
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