You Are Beautiful
My first encounter with the “You Are Beautiful” project was at the Morton Arboretum in Lisle Illinois, November of 2011. I had my father’s old rangefinder, a Minolta 35 Model II that he bought from the Army PX when he was stationed in Korea during the Korean war. It was the day before he took an R&R in Japan. The camera made it through the war and home with him, he was married later to my wonderful mother whom I really miss, and he took several family photos before it eventually wore out. He put it away and one day after my own camera broke he offered it to me. At the time I could not afford to have it repaired so I put it away but several years later in 2011 I dug it out, had it serviced and after a shutter curtain replacement, it quickly became the second camera I carried, beside my dslr. Now on this particular day, my daughter and I had gone out to take some photos at the arboretum. We came around the back side of this installation and curious, we kept on walking till we could move around the front of it, guessing all the while what it might say. “You… are..” Are what? This is where I could see the message. Where you might say the light shown down from above and I smiled as I lifted my cherished heirloom Minolta to my eye and framed the shot. The end of 2011 was a rough time for me medically speaking. This message gave me a glimmer of hope. Mind you I hadn’t had a lot of practice with the camera so I had no idea of the results I’d get out of just one shot. Film is expensive you know. But, when I got the images back, this one held magic in it and for a second time the message uplifted me. I had posted it on my blog in December of 2011 [posts have been removed] and it remained the only image for some time. I recently discovered on Colossal an article telling of a project I had no idea existed. The You Are Beautiful Project by Matthew Hoffman, a native Chicagoan it would seem. This project has gone on for ten years! Not only that but he is trying to commemorate/expand on it through a Kickstarter. It’s the first Kickstarter I have ever supported but felt was worthwhile because when I was down, You Are Beautiful supported me. I wanted the book so I gave the appropriate sum and when I receive it I will place a print of my own You Are Beautiful image as seen above, in it so that every time I need to remember, need a little hope or inspiration, I will have a solid reminder that yes, I am beautiful. Sometimes we can all use a little reminder. Is there someone in your life that needs to know they are beautiful? This is a message you simply need to pass on. Words that need to be said. The Kickstarter project has reached it’s $25,000.00 goal but you can still add your support until February 11, 3:30 PM EST.
2/11/2012: “Congratulations! Thanks to you and 700 other backers, You Are Beautiful Book has been successfully funded.” B E A U T I F U L