All of us have insecurities and everyone has something they’ve deeply hidden and either rarely or never express to others.
“Recognizing this, photographer Steve Rosenfield began the “What I Be Project” as a way to invite outsiders into the world of his subjects, as they visibly display their insecurities for all to see.”
The “What I Be Project” by Steve Rosenfield is described on the website as:
“A way to tell your story the way you want it to be told. Often times people make up stories about our lives by what they think is going on without even knowing the whole story. Be the one to tell your story exactly how it is, not how others perceive it to be.”
Rosenfield wants people to be more open with their communications as well as to accept diversity with a more open-minded heart and mind.
“The subjects were allowed to expose a side of themselves that no one has ever seen before, resulting in powerful yet relatable imagery. “What I Be Project” shows that everyone has something that makes them feel uncomfortable. By stating ‘I am not my_____,’ they are claiming that they do in fact struggle with these issues, but it does not define who they are as a person.”
The goal of the project is not to discredit the insecurities—it is to spread awareness of what people go through on a day to day basis as a result of society’s standards. Steve says:
“I encourage every viewer to look at each image and put yourself in the individuals shoes. By allowing yourself to feel what they feel, you might realize something you’ve never noticed before. Some of the faces you may recognize, some you may not. Take the time to connect with each one. You may see yourself within one of the photos.”
Without a doubt, we would live in a much different world if we spent more time understanding than judging each other. Here are some of the striking images in “What I Be Project”:
“I am not my appearance.”
“I am not my rape.”
“I am not my void.”
“I am not my weaknesses.”
“I am not my vision.”
“I am not my diabetes.”
“I am not my amputation.”
“I am not my sexuality.”
The “What I Be Project” has several categories to choose from—to view and to be inspired by—on the website. Anger, Anxiety, Body Image, Celebrity, Relationships, Sexual Abuse, Sexuality and Trust are just a few.
Rosenfield encourages viewers to look closely and with an open mind at each image.
“The “What I Be Project” is all about honesty. In today’s society, we are told to look or act a certain way. If we differ from these “standards,” we are often judged, ridiculed, and sometimes even killed over them. I started this project in hopes to open up the lines of communication, and to help everyone accept diversity with an open mind & heart.
Each person that takes part in the project is extremely courageous! They are putting their insecurities out in the open, and exposing a side of themselves that nobody has seen before. By stating “I am not my_____,” they are claiming that they do in fact struggle with these issues, but it does not define who they are as a person. It is not aimed for people to say “You’re not fat,” or “You don’t have love handles.” It is to spread awareness on what people go through due to society’s paved roads. These are serious issues that some of us can live with, but most battle on a day to day basis.
I encourage every viewer to look at each image and put yourself in the individuals shoes. By allowing yourself to feel what they feel, you might realize something you’ve never noticed before. If you don’t understand someone’s message, stay tuned. To eliminate any confusion, each participant will be writing a 500 word or less statement explaining how their insecurity has affected their life.
Some of the faces you may recognize, some you may not. Take the time to connect with each one. You may see yourself within one of the photos.
I would like to thank you for showing interest in my project, and for taking the time to read what it’s all about.”
Click here to see more.
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Ed: Bryonie Wise