"On Beauty" Documentary Puts The Spotlight On Our Beauty Standards

Jul 29, 2015

This week we celebrate the Special Olympics World Games. I have been privileged to meet, high five, and cheer on incredible athletes from around the world. Are they beautiful? You better believe it.

Sadly though our mainstream beauty standards are a bit... predictable. Boring really. That's where Rick Guidotti comes in.

Guidotti, founder of the nonprofit Positive Exposure, is looking to change our status quo with his new film "On Beauty." To understand why this is important, you need only watch the first few seconds of the trailer above. The opening line from Sarah Kanney, an utterly beautiful young woman with Sturge–Weber syndrome, gets me all choked up. "People... stare. Are we really so different and not like you that you have to stare?"

Sarah Kanney On Beauty photo credit Rick Gruidotti - Hello, Handbag
Sarah Kanney - Photo Credit Rick Guidotti
Guidotti was a photographer for some of the most recognized names in beauty, like Cindy Crawford and Claudia Schiffer. Then one day he met an albino woman who took his breath away. “I loved the idea of aesthetic beauty but didn’t understand why there was only one standard,” Guidotti told the LA Times. So he set out to photograph real beauty around the world, and "On Beauty" was born.

Nontraditional models, like everMaya's Madeline Stuart or Carrie Hammer's Role Models Not Runway Models, are taking the beauty world by storm. Even Target is starting to celebrate body diversity. And with other beauty-redefining documentaries like Straight/Curve on the docket, we have a real opportunity to create change for good in a billion dollar industry.

"On Beauty" is directed by Joanna Rudnick. It opens this Friday in Los Angeles and will play all week at the Laemmle Music Hall in Beverly Hills. The film will also screen in New York, Chicago and other cities around the US, check here for a screening in your area.

Are you fed up with beauty standards? What would you most like to see updated?

Photo credit: Rick Guidotti and Kartemquin Films

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